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(erielack) Jerry Turco, once owner of the Lackawanna Cut-Off, is Dead at age 78

Jerry Turco died on March 3rd.  For those of you who may not know, Mr.
Turco, a New Jersey resident all his life, acquired the Cut-Off and the
LH&R south of Sparta Junction from Conrail for approximately $1 million
each back in 1985.  (Burton Goldmeier acquired the short section of the
Cut-Off in Roxbury at about the same time for an undisclosed amount.)
Turco, as many of you are probably aware, went on to propose carting away
the fill on the Cut-Off--primarily the Pequest Fill--and filling up the
holes with garbage or industrial debris.  Whether or not Turco was really
serious or not on that is debatable, but no matter the Cut-Off was acquired
from monies set aside from a bridge bond bill that was passed by the voters
in New Jersey in 1989, with much of the impetus coming from Sussex and
Warren counties who wanted to prevent Turco's landfill project.  As such,
the ownership of the Cut-Off technically passed to the State in the early
1990's after condemnation was performed.  However, the actual cash award of
$21 million was not settled upon until about ten years later.

I met Turco on nearly a dozen different occasions and he was quite a
character, somewhat reminiscent of a cross between Tony Soprano and Sam
Walton.  Turco, at the time I last met him, which was roughly 1989, was
rumored to be worth, IN THOSE DAYS, about $100 million dollars.  I'm sure
he died having amassed a net worth several times that amount.

It's interesting to note that Turco met with Steamtown several times and
had also looked at putting a restaurant operation on top of the Delaware
River Viaduct.  Once again, it's difficult to know if he was serious or
not, but certainly he had the money to do the project, if he wanted to.