- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 4, 2001

BALTIMORE (AP) The city of Baltimore accepted a $373,573 check yesterday from CSX Corp. to cover overtime costs incurred by the police, fire and public works departments while responding to the July derailment of a train carrying hazardous materials.
CSX had offered to compensate the city for overtime stemming from the derailment, which temporarily closed the city's downtown area, postponed three Orioles games and held up rail traffic across the Eastern United States for days.
The payment does not cover the cleanup of chemicals spilled, the investigation of the accident, replacement of a ruptured water main or road repairs.
CSX also paid $20,000 yesterday to a group representing businesses in the Howard Street area that were closed after the derailment. The $20,000 and a matching $20,000 from the city will be used to advertise that the area is open for business again.
The Maryland Transit Administration also agreed to provide the Market Center Merchant's Association with free advertising on its buses and at light-rail depots.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the derailment. A report is not expected for about six months.
Mayor Martin O'Malley was careful to note that CSX's payments were not an admission of liability in the accident.
"This is about CSX realizing there was a big emergency here that caused the city a big headache," Mr. O'Malley said.
CSX spokesman Rob Gould said the company was simply exercising its "corporate responsibility."
"Whether or not we were at fault, we felt it was the right thing to do," Mr. Gould said.
Alvin Levi, head of the merchant's association and owner of Howard Street Jewelers, called the checks "articles of good will and good faith" from the city and CSX.
But, he added, "This does not preclude any individual merchant from seeking their own redress."
Mr. Gould says CSX has received nearly 200 claims totaling a little more than $500,000 from merchants in the Howard Street area.
The merchants were asked to provide proof of ownership and documentation of a demonstrable revenue stream, indicating a fair representation of how much money they lost during the shutdown. Many of those seeking claims have not met those requirements, Mr. Gould said.
So far, the company has made payments on about 25 claims, totaling nearly $50,000, Mr. Gould said.

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