Cargill will hold a virtual town hall meeting to provide an update on its Cedar Rapids rail yard project

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The site where Cargill plans to build their 12-track, 200-car rail yard. — Izabela Zaluska/Little Village

Cargill will hold its second town hall meeting of the year on Wednesday to provide information about rail yard construction, which is scheduled to begin in April.

Officials involved with the project will share updates to Cedar Rapids residents ahead of construction, including design developments based on the feedback residents shared during the town hall meeting in January, according to a letter sent earlier this month to residents of the Rompot neighborhood that borders the future rail yard.

The hour-long town hall on March 31 will be held virtually and is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.

The letter includes a link to join, as well as information for individuals who want to participate by phone. During the company’s January town hall, individuals participating via computer also had to dial in by phone to hear the presentation’s audio.

Dial-in info:
Participant Toll-Free Dial-In Number: (888) 366-1221
Participant Toll-Free Dial-In Number: (877) 820-5028
Participant International Dial-In Number: (706) 758-9389
Conference ID: 9978824

Cargill began its effort to build a rail yard in Cedar Rapids in late 2017. The company maintains that having its own rail yard is necessary for its Cedar Rapids operations to be cost-effective in the future.

The Cedar Rapids City Council approved amending the city’s future land use map and rezoning the Stewart Road property in late 2019.

Cargill employees and a handful of residents spoke in favor of the proposal during a city council meeting, citing the jobs Cargill brings to the community, and fear those jobs may be threatened if the rail yard was not built. Many residents living in or near the Rompot neighborhood were vocal about their opposition to the plan when it was before the city council.

The rail yard will be built on land that has been referred to as the Stewart Road property. About 11 acres of the 28-acre property will be maintained as a prairie pollinator area.

Cargill will transfer ownership of the 23.5 acres of farm property to the city of Cedar Rapids, and the property will be converted to a pollinator habitat. Cargill will pay for the creation of the habitat and three years of maintenance costs.

Officials involved with the project are anticipating that the 12-track, 200-car rail yard will be operational by November.

Cargill came back with a proposal for a rail yard on the Stewart Road site after its Otis Road/farm property proposal was killed by the city council in August. — Map courtesy of the city of Cedar Rapids

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