To the Editor:

I cannot imagine repairs to New Milford's Bridge Street railroad crossing can cost more than $10,000 and hope (Rep.) Clark Chapin does not think every expenditure of this size is worthy of a public hearing.

No, this should be simple. We need a state law clearly detailing responsibilities in this area with an effective machinery to swiftly deal with non compliance by any party.

In most states it seems it is the railroad's responsibility to the width of the railroad ties. This is the law Mr. Chapin should seek to introduce, if current law is unclear.

However it must be considered a railroad is a public good to the extent it is an efficient user of energy and removes traffic that would otherwise burden our roads. In doing so, it is deserving of some level of subsidy from the public purse.

It is in negotiation of this subsidy that any beef the railroad has over snow plows and the like be considered, not in a fight to the death over each and every grade crossing.

Nicholas Payne

New Milford