Four Oaks residents continue to voice opposition to rail hub

FOUR OAKS, N.C. (WNCN) – It’s a major development project in Johnston County that may never happen but it has still divided a community.

CSX is trying to figure out where to put a new rail hub that could potentially bringing new jobs and growth to the region.

Dozens came out Monday night to voice their opposition to the project.

Some of them are concerned about losing their homes or having to move away from their families.

They packed into town hall hoping for answers they’ve struggled to get.

Georgia Adams has lived in Johnston County with her family all next door to another for decades.

“We built this gazebo for my son’s wedding,” Adams said.

CSX is looking to build a major rail hub and some leaders in Four Oaks want it on Adams’ property.

“It would disrupt not only our family, mine and Wayne’s, it would disrupt my children’s and my grandchildren,” Adams said.

Randy Johnson lives nearby and has been getting people to sign a petition against the rail hub.

“If they take our land, then we basically lose our hopes and dreams. But, these people have to live with a nightmare the rest of their lives,” Johnson said.

Some residents are adamant they won’t give up their land

“It ain’t for sale,” Matt Sharpe said.

Adams said she doesn’t think her land will ever be up for sale.

Mayor Linwood Parker is backing the project, citing economic benefits.

RELATED: Four Oaks mayor wants CSX hub in his town

Some people were frustrated it took this long to get a clear explanation why.

“My whole purpose outside of the fact that I want it because I believe it to be the right thing, has been to make sure that the property owners were treated fairly,” Parker said.

Opponents of the project have been vocal but Kim Guignard says supporters fear being ridiculed.

Guignard wanted to show some in the community stand by it.

“Growth is painful, change is painful. But nothing hurts worse than being stuck,” Guignard said.

Parker said he knows of three sites CSX is considering.

He’ll be on a conference call with an attorney for CSX for the first time Wednesday.

Parker said he’ll ask for the company to say within 10 days whether this project will happen in Four Oaks. But he acknowledged he has no authority to force them to do anything one way or another.

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