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High court takes up rail terminal case

The Supreme Court of Virginia has agreed to hear Montgomery County’s appeal of a circuit court decision allowing public funding for a Norfolk Southern rail yard project.

County supervisors are fighting the proposed freight yard near Elliston by attacking the state funding plan on state constitutional grounds. Richmond Circuit Judge Melvin R. Hughes Jr. rejected the county’s challenge in November.

The Supreme Court granted the appeal yesterday after a writ panel heard arguments from the county’s attorney a week ago.

With 70-percent state funding under the state’s “Rail Enhancement Fund,” the $50-million project would create a 65-acre freight handling yard in a rural area of Montgomery County near the Roanoke River.

By Peter Vieth

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