Wheat Growers Announces Kennebec Site for Grain/Agronomy Facilityon Wed Oct 01 2014, 10:38PM | by Kim
(Aberdeen, SD) - Wheat Growers will build a first-class grain handling, fertilizer and agronomy facility in Lyman County, starting yet this fall. Wheat Growers’ Board of Directors has chosen a site in Lyman County, South Dakota, for a shuttle loader grain handling facility and agronomy center. The site will be in Kennebec, South Dakota, and will be located along the soon-to-be rehabilitated line that is part of the state of South Dakota’s expansion of heavy-rail service from Chamberlain to Presho.
“We selected this site after an extensive financial and structural review of several sites in the area,” Hal Clemensen, President of the Wheat Growers Board of Directors, said. “Our cooperative will move forward with dirt work and construction this fall with the goal of having the agronomy facility ready for business by the winter of 2015/2016 and the grain handling facility completed in time for harvest 2016.”
Wheat Growers had pledged to build a shuttle loader grain handling facility and agronomy center in Lyman County if the state of South Dakota rehabilitated the Chamberlain to Presho route. The South Dakota Department of Transportation recently announced that the state had been awarded a $12.68 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant. The grant money, along with $7 million approved by the South Dakota Legislature for the project, an additional $7 million committed by the state Railroad Board, and over $1 million in private funds raised by Rails to the Future will be used to rehabilitate approximately 40 miles of rail line between Chamberlain and Presho.
“This is great news for the state and for growers and agribusiness in central South Dakota,” Dale Locken, Wheat Growers CEO, said. “As promised, our farmer-owned cooperative will now move forward with our plans to build a first-class elevator and agronomy facility on the rehabilitated heavy rail line in Lyman County.”
“We want to thank Governor Daugaard, the state legislature, our Congressional delegation and the Rails to the Future group for their tremendous support of this project and the commitment of state and private funding in addition to the TIGER grant funds,” Clemensen added. “Now we’ll put our pledge into action as we build this state-of-the-art facility for growers in the area.”
About Wheat GrowersWheat Growers is a grain and agronomy cooperative in the heart of South and North Dakota. Owned by the members it serves, Wheat Growers exists to provide, with integrity, customers with reliable markets, services and quality products through a safety-oriented, profitable and innovative organization. www.wheatgrowers.com
Rails to the Future Applauds Receipt of $13 Million TIGER Grant to Build Railroad to Preshoon 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.
Wheat Growers Hosting Patron/Grower Meetings in Lyman Countyon Sun Jun 22 2014, 10:12PM | by Kim
(Aberdeen, SD) --- Patrons and growers are invited to a series of Wheat Growers meetings in Lyman County June 23 and 24. The meetings will focus on Wheat Growers commitment to build a facility in the area, as well as updating the status of the state of South Dakota’s plan to bring heavy rail service from Chamberlain to Presho.
“We are moving forward with our plans to build a first-class grain shuttle facility and agronomy center in Lyman County,” Wheat Growers CEO Dale Locken said. “We’re eager to serve the producers in that area, most of whom are already Wheat Growers member-owners thanks to our existing agronomy and grain business. We want to gather input from citizens as we look to bring Wheat Growers service and greater access to reliable markets.”
The first meeting will be June 23 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. in Winner at the Holiday Inn Express. The first meeting on June 24 will be at the Reliance City Hall at 10:00 a.m., followed by a 12:30 p.m. meeting at the Kennebec Fire Hall and a 2:30 p.m. meeting in Presho, at the Presho Methodist Church.
Locken praised the Rails to the Future organization and its members for their work in Pierre during the last legislative session, and also for stepping up to the plate and committing resources to help fund the project.
Steve Halverson is Chairman of Rails to the Future. “We are excited that businesses such as Wheat Growers are stepping up to the plate to invest in Lyman County,” Halverson said. “We believe this railroad and its related businesses will be the largest economic development this area has ever seen, and will serve the citizens of central South Dakota for generations to come. The residents of the region saw this opportunity and invested in their future by supporting Rails to the Future.”
“We appreciate the significant effort Rails to the Future has made in organizing and promoting this plan in Pierre and also raising over a million dollars that will be used to help build the heavy rail line and serve as matching funds in obtaining a TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation,” Locken said. “It shows the tremendous commitment that the producers, businesses and ag organizations in Lyman County have for this project. We’re patiently waiting the outcome of the state of South Dakota’s commitment to fund and build out heavy-rail service from Chamberlain to Presho.”
Lyman Countty Rail Updateon Sun Jun 22 2014, 05:11PM | by Kim
Please join us for an update on the Lyman County Rail Expansion at one of the meeting locations listed below. We look forward to sharing with you Wheat Growers' commitment to build a facility in the area, as well as an update on the status of the state of South Dakota's plan to bring heavy rail service from Chamberlain to Presho. All are welcome to attend!
| June 23, 2014|| June 24, 2014|
|Holiday Inn Express|
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
|Reliance City Hall|
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
| ||Kennebec Fire Hall|
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
| ||Methodist Church|
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Rails to the Future Tops $1 Million in Pledges of Match Money!on Wed Apr 16 2014, 06:50PM | by Kim
With pledges still coming in, Rails to the Future announced they had received pledges of over $1 million on April 16. The money will be used to help build rail and as match money in obtaining a TIGER grant from the US Deprtment of Transportation.
Governor Daugaard Signs Bill to Provide Funding for Railroad Rehabilitationon Wed Apr 02 2014, 10:42PM | by Kim
Governor Daugaard has signed HB 1041 which appropriates $7.2 million to the Railroad Trust Fund. The bill originally appropriated $1.2 million to be used for rehabilitation of the railroad bridge at Chamberlain on the state-owned line. It was then amended to add an additional $6 million with the intent to rehabilitate the line further west.
The SD Wheat Growers testified that they would build a $40 million shuttle loader facility and agronomy center if the railroad is rehabilitated at least as far as Lyman. As a result of the appropriation, the SD Railroad Board has committed $14 million towards application for a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant in the amount of about $28 million. This amount would allow for the rehabilitation of the railroad all the way to Presho.
The last TIGER grant application was unsuccessful, however, the new appropriation will enable the State to exceed a 50% local match which will improve the chance of obtaining the grant this time. “This is a remarkable opportunity for South Dakota,” said Steve Halverson, President of the Rails to the Future, “We commend Governor Daugaard for his vision and leadership in regard to supporting railroad infrastructure in South Dakota.” “
In order to increase the State’s chance of obtaining the new TIGER grant, we need businesses, farmers and other interested parties to send letters of support to the SD DOT by April 15 so they can be included in the grant application,” said Halverson, “The letters should explain the economic development opportunities and benefit that the railroad rehabilitation would create.”
In addition to sending letters of support, it would be even more helpful, if the letter included a pledge of financial support,” said Halverson. “The pledge would only need to be paid if the grant application is successful and the railroad is built.”
Rails to the Future is a grassroots organization that is helping raise money for the railroad rehabilitation. “We have had numerous farmers throughout the region pledge thousands of dollars to this project,” said Halverson. “At our last meeting in Presho, we even had a women who has farmed for 60 years make a $10,000 pledge.”
Letters should be mailed to Bruce Lindholm, Program Manager, South Dakota Department of Transportation, Becker-Hansen Building, 700 E. Broadway Ave., Pierre, SD 57501
Rail authority rehab loan OK'don Wed Apr 02 2014, 09:38AM | by Kim
Earlier this month, the Mitchell Rapid City Railroad Authority Board committed to a $3.5 million loan from the state rail board to improve the railroad from Chamberlain to Presho. That commitment was finalized Monday when the rail authority board voted unanimously to approve the loan during a special meeting held via conference call.http://www.mitchellrepublic.com/content/rail-authority-rehab-loan-okd
Railroad refurbishing project rolls forwardon Fri Mar 21 2014, 01:59PM | by Kim
from Mitchell Daily Republic
SD State Rail Board approves $3.5 million in grants and $3.5 million in loans for the line west of Chamberlain.on Wed Mar 19 2014, 02:51PM | by Kim
The SD State Rail Board approves $3.5 million in grants and $3.5 million in loans for the line west of Chamberlain. That raises the total amount for rehab to $14.2 million. Additional funding will be sought through the TIGER grant program.