Commissioner Bowman able to save Prosser $18,000

PROSSER -- Prosser owes Benton County Commissioner Leo Bowman an $18,000 thank you.

BNSF Railway Co. was planning to increase the annual cost for Prosser and the Ben Franklin Transit to $20,000 for use of the Eric Barnard Depot Square parking lot in town across from the Prosser Police Department. The annual lease had been $1,800 a year.

Bowman intervened with railroad officials last week during a conference in Fort Worth, Texas. Rail officials from across North America met to discuss issues involving main line rails running through the middle of communities.

"Guess what? When I got back to my hotel room there was a message. They knocked it back down to $1,800," Bowman declared during his report to the commission Monday morning in Prosser.

Charlie Bush, Prosser city administrator, said the city council will be very grateful.

"He got them to re-agree to an agreement they previously agreed to. So that is very encouraging. Very helpful work on his part. We'll be sending an appreciation letter," Bush said.

David Sparks, county administrator, said the results for Prosser were well worth the costs of Bowman's two-day trip to Texas.

Also Monday, five residents of rural Prosser complained about accumulations of junk on private properties along North River Road.