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A train on Warren County's rail line in 2010.

It's been a tough couple of weeks to fill in the blanks of a couple of interesting stories.

Warren County is in the process of figuring out what to do with its railroad line. Three companies are in the running and submitted proposals. They were discussed at a Board of Supervisors meeting late last month, but when I sought copies of the written proposals, I was rebuffed.

I filed a Freedom of Information Law request. County Administrator Ryan Moore, who to his credit is generally prompt and accommodating with FOIL requests, waited nearly 5 days to respond, and told me it would take 20 days to fill the request.

When I asked why it would take so long, he replied as follows:

"I am waiting for analysis of case law so that I am able to determine what, at this juncture, is public information and what is not.  These proposals also contain proprietary information and I am obligated to sort that out with the proposers’ respective legal teams as well," he wrote.

So we wait.

I also sought more information from the Federal Aviation Administration this week on how the agency arrived at the decision it did to no longer recommend an airport runway extension at Warren County Airport. The response I got from the FAA's press office was to file a Freedom of Information request.

Lastly, the town of Johnsburg supervisor has most perplexingly refused to say for months whether a town highway worker who went into a home to sexually assault a woman last summer is still an employee of the town. Even though I pointed out that town payroll is clearly public information, she replied with "No comment." He is the son of the town highway superintendent, so I wonder if her lack of cooperation stems from that aspect of the situation?

So she got a formal FOIL request on Wednesday.

Our readers often criticize us for holes in our articles, and sometimes rightly so. But we often run into roadblocks like this with governmental agencies, roadblocks that are put up both legally and, at times, illegally.

-- Don Lehman

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reporter - crimes & courts, public safety and Warren County government

Don Lehman covers crime and Warren County government for The Post-Star. His work can be found on Twitter @PS_CrimeCourts and on poststar.com/app/blogs.

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