Ohio senators reacting to the East Palestine train derailment proposed state oversight of wayside detectors that can spot railway defects, among other safety provisions, in a nearly $13.5 billion dollar transportation budget that passed Thursday with bipartisan support. The proposal will now go to a joint House and Senate conference committee to work out differences, with just one week to go before lawmakers must send the spending plan to the governor. The proposal would fund pavement, bridges and other highway projects over two years. The Senate made some significant changes to the House version of the budget, including nixing a $1 billion fund aimed specifically at improving rural highways, and getting rid of lower registration fees for plug-in hybrid owners. But the Senate kept the House’s railway safety measures, added to the budget after a Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous materials derailed in a fiery crash in the small eastern Ohio village. Senators added more rail-related safety items, including requiring wayside detectors to be installed 10 to 15 miles apart, with oversight from the Ohio Department of Transportation and PUCO. Currently, the Federal Railroad Association allows some wayside detectors to be spaced up to 25 miles apart.
The Williams County Port Authority approved purchasing a property for development and selling a house …