Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Daugaard chucks $56M at rail industry

Crony capitalism lives large in South Dakota. TIGER grants were trimmed in the Cromnibus but there's nothing quite like greasing the GOP path to a chemical toilet.

From State News: links mine.
The first project is the reconstruction of the Mitchell to Rapid City (MRC) Rail Line. The $29.9 million project between Chamberlain and Presho will upgrade 42.6 miles of rail line to handle modern rail traffic.
The MRC project is being funded by $12.7 million in federal TIGER funds; $7.2 million appropriated by the Legislature during the 2014 session; $7 million in grants and loans from the Railroad Trust Fund; $1 million from the farmers and private investors of Rails to the Future; $1 million from Dakota Southern Railroad; and $1 from a Future fund grant.
The second project is an agreement with the Rapid City, Pierre and Eastern Railroad (RCP&E) to construct two new railroad sidings along the old DM&E line. The $7.5 million project includes a 10,000-foot siding in the Huron area and a 7,500-foot siding near Aurora. RCP&E has committed to giving $3.75 million for the project, which the state will match with Future Funds.
For the third project, the state will partner with Dakota & Iowa Railroad to invest $7.3 million to upgrade the Sioux Valley Line in southeast South Dakota. The project will include upgrading nine bridges on the line, which will allow the line to handle 286,000-pound rail cars. In addition, a section of track that is currently in an area subject to landslides will be moved.
The last project, an upgrade of the Britton Line in northeast South Dakota, will include $5.25 million in funds from the Dakota Missouri Valley & Western, as well as $5.25 million in loans from the state Rail Board and $1 million in Future Funds. The $11.5 million project includes constructing the south leg of a wye at Jarrett Junction and replacing 29 miles of light rail with heavy rail to enable the railroad to handle heavy modern traffic.
Of course, Future Fund recipients were donors to Governor Daugaard's reelection war chest. $4 million in Future Funds will be doled out to interested SDGOP parties writing proposals on the backs of $100-dollar bills and putting them into the pockets of apparatchiks at the state Department of Transportation.

No comments: