I would like to respond to Mr. Harper's letter that ran in the Aug. 29 Standard Democrat concerning the Union Pacific railroad spur removal.
I would like to let Mr. Harper and the citizens of Sikeston and Miner know that the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce has been working on this issue since we were notified by Steward Steel that the spur removal was a possibility. On July 1, we hosted a meeting with city officials and a representative from Steward Steel to discuss Union Pacific plans, then the SACC Board of Directors, at their July meeting, voted to send a letter to Union Pacific opposing the abandonment. The letter was sent to Mr. Payette at Union Pacific from me as Chamber president asking that Union Pacific reconsider their decision and requesting further discussion on the matter. Our executive director, Missy Marshall, has been in touch with Peter Myers, JoAnn Emerson, Kit Bond and Jim Talent's offices to express our concern and is in touch with officials from the City of Sikeston and City of Miner.
We did not publicly pull the "fire alarm," so-to-speak at the request of an employer involved in the situation. The employer did not want to raise employee fears and possibly lose valued workers. Now that it has become public, SACC would encourage citizens in Miner and Sikeston to contact Union Pacific and your legislators about this spur abandonment. As others have said, we cannot afford to lose any jobs in our area.
Sikeston and Miner have experienced so much diverse economic growth and we need to continue to support our existing businesses. The Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce will continue to work with all the parties involved in trying to achieve the outcome we want and need in dealing with the railroad spur situation.
I would like to thank Mr. Harper for his efforts and support of the business community and I hope others will choose to get involved.
Robin Pace, president
Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce