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City applies for rail safety grant

By By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
Feb. 21, 2001
The Meridian City Council voted 4-0 Tuesday night to approve a grant application expected to give the city $350,000 for the implementation of the Southeastern Transportation Safety Center.
The grant, if awarded to the city, would be the first obtained from the Federal Railroad Administration in order to establish the STSC in Meridian, which would serve as a regional safety training facility.
Mayor John Robert Smith said the facility would be the only one of its kind in the Southeast.
Smith said the grant would be the first of "multi-year grants" sought by the city for the implementation of the facility.
Ward 5 Councilman Bobby Smith and Fire Chief Bunky Partridge were in Washington D.C. Tuesday talking with FRA officials about the project.
Mayor Smith said the FRA's Operation Respond program will help implement the facility in Meridian. Smith, an Amtrak board member, said the passenger rail company will also donate items to help the facility operate.
Smith said the second phase of the project would also include an operational crossing at a training site to simulate real life disasters for responders.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at