Friday Update

on Thu Mar 13 2014, 11:15PM | by Kim

Greetings,

We have some great news to pass on to our membership.  We had two bills floating in the legislature this week.  Our original bill S.B. 137, and also H.B. 1041. H.B. 1041 was Gov. Daugaard’s bill asking for $1.2 million to repair the bridge at Chamberlain. 

Last week the Senate Appropriations Committee amended this bill by adding our $6 million to make the bill request $7.2 million. Tuesday this bill was passed on the Senate floor by a vote of 34 yes and 1 no.  Yesterday this bill was before the house and they voted 65 yes and 4 no.  

Huge accomplishment to get this approved by such a large margin in both houses!Our next action is to wait for the governor’s decision to sign or veto the bill.  We feel good about our position at this point and will continue to keep you informed as we move forward.

Today we met with the S.D. Department of Transportation.  The plan is to try to leverage this appropriated money and apply for the next federal TIGER grant.  This would provide more matching funds than previous applications and hopefully would make it more likely to succeed. 

If this grant is successful, we would be able to run heavy rail from Chamberlain to at least Presho.  The applications are due in late April and it would likely be this fall before we know the results.We want to thank everyone for your support!  This was a great team effort and without all of you it would not have been possible.  Feel free to contact us if you have any further questions.
Regards,

Rails to the Future

Bill Ferguson, 30394 266th St, Witten SD 57584-6810 840-9015
Steve Halverson, 118 Terri Lane, Pierre SD 57501-5221 222-0270
Bryan Jorgensen, 31250 265th St, Ideal SD 57541-9230 840-9005