Rails to the Future Applauds Receipt of $13 Million TIGER Grant to Build Railroad to Presho

on Wed Sep 10 2014, 08:29AM | by Kim

 Rails to the Future is pleased to announce the receipt of a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant in the amount of $12,686,089. 
 
“We would like to thank Governor Daugaard, the Congressional Delegation, the State Legislature and the State Railroad Board for their leadership in helping make this project become a reality,” said Steve Halverson, President of Rails to the Future. “The entire state of South Dakota will benefit from this project for generations to come.” 
 
“We also thank all of the private citizens and businesses who contributed over $1 million in  commitments to the project,” said Halverson.  “Their generous support was critical to getting the local match percentage high enough to submit a competitive application for the grant.”
 
Rails to the Future announced last April that over $ 1 million had been raised in local match for the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant the state of South Dakota was applying for at the time.  The State’s TIGER grant application sought $13 million for rehabilitation of the state-owned line from Chamberlain to Presho. 
 
During the past Session, the legislature appropriated $7.2 million for rehabilitation of the state-owned railroad west of Chamberlain. 
 
The SD Wheat Growers testified during committee hearings that they would build a $40 million shuttle loader facility and agronomy center if the railroad is rehabilitated at least as far as Lyman.  After Session, the SD Railroad Board committed an additional $7 million towards the grant.  The local match of $1 million to the grant application. 
 
When combining the $13 million TIGER grant, state and local contributions, total cost for the railroad rehabilitation is about $28 million.   
 
The $1 million in local commitments were been made by farmers, businesses, ag organizations, tribal and local governments that support the project. 
 
Rails to the Future is a grassroots organization that was created primarily by farmers that want to raise money to help get the state-owned railroad extended from Chamberlain to Presho.  The organization will continue to hold meetings and raise funding for railroad rehabilitation further west.