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Union Local 652 announces support for Marina Center development

by Wendy Butler, The Eureka Reporter, 3/9/2006 (excerpt)

It’s a blighted parcel.

That’s one of the reasons both the Eureka Police Officers Association and now Eureka Firefighters Local 652 have given their support to the Marina Center development on Union Pacific Railroad Co.’s Eureka Rail Yard, a site known as the “Balloon Track.”

Security National is in the processing of purchasing the site and plans to construct a mixed-use Marina Center on it.

Eureka Police Sgt. Mike Hislop has informed the City Council of the police officers association’s support for the development and how it could remove blight and strengthen the local economy.

After hearing from others with views opposing the development, the firefighters’ union on March 2 voted unanimously to support SN’s Balloon Track development plans, union representative Ed Laidlaw said.

“It’s a blighted piece of property and it has been a drain on local resources for years,” he said.

Those resources are not limited to fighting fires, he added.

“It’s a drain on taxpayers’ dollars, because of the city resources that have to go into that area to clean it up to mitigate problems that happen down there,” Laidlaw said. “With Security National coming in and using no government funds to do it, … it doesn’t impact the General Fund.

“We see that as a great stride to helping the city....”