DYER | The town has been taking care of the Amtrak station for years, but that might change.
The maintenance of the site is so time-consuming, Public Works Superintendent David Proud said, that it’s almost not worth the manpower put into it.
“It’s time we could be spending on town projects,” he told the Town Council.
*Amtrak’s site, a shelter and platform on the east side of the CSX Railway track which crosses Sheffield Avenue, is a stop for the Chicago/Indianapolis train that runs between both cities daily. There are two stops per day, one in the morning and one at night.
For years, Amtrak has had a contract with the town. Municipal employees maintain the site in exchange for $1,000 Amtrak pays the town a month.
The Dyer Enhancement Team made a special project of the site years ago, doing an initial cleanup and beautification. The town then eventually signed a contract with Amtrak for maintenance.
That contract expired late last year, but the town has continued its maintenance, while Amtrak has continued paying.
Town Administrator Rick Eberly suggested during the study session that Dyer renegotiate for a larger monthly payment, but Proud said the issue for public works is not money but time.
Amtrak recently increased the site’s platform, now several times larger than it was in the past. Even the smaller platform proved time-consuming to maintain, said Proud, and the new improved platform will likely mean more work.
Town Council members asked Proud to give them an estimate as to how much time his department's employees spend on the Amtrak site.
Proud said it only will be an estimate given that the platform is fairly new.
Council members said it will be a factor as they consider whether to continue Dyer’s arrangement with Amtrak.
*Editor's note: This story has been corrected from an earlier version. Amtrak's site, a shelter and platform on the east side of the CSX Railrway which crosses Sheffield Avenue, is a stop for the Chicago-Indianapolis train that runs between both cities daily.