Stutsman County to go ahead with railroad projectJamestown, ND (WDAY TV) - The Stutsman County Commission is giving the go ahead for a $7.5 million railroad project near Great River Energy. But one commissioner says a better funding plan needs to be in place.
The Stutsman County Commission is giving the go ahead for a $7.5 million railroad project near Great River Energy. But one commissioner says a better funding plan needs to be in place.
The lone commissioner who voted against the project says his main concern is the roads around Great River Energy can't handle the heavy traffic."
Dave Schwartz – Stutsman County Commissioner: "I wanted to have some time to try and come up with alternative funding to upgrade the roads that will have to be upgraded."
The controversial rail loop may soon be built here, next to Great River Energy just East of Jamestown for Burlington Northern Santa Fe trains. Supporters say it will bring business to the area and add jobs to the energy park.
Dave Schwartz: "Without this loop, it would be difficult. They could put a ladder system in with the rail, but getting cars in and out, commodities in and out would be tough."
The loop will be partially funded with sales tax dollars put into Jamestown Stutsman Development Corporation, which promotes job growth. Schwartz says some people are concerned the project won't add enough jobs to pay off.
Dave Schwartz: "We are working with taxpayer’s money trying to create jobs and there is no guarantee."
Schwartz says if companies benefiting from the project come up with the funds to match the county by March the project will move forward.
The Jamestown Stutsman Development Corporation will put in about $3.5 million, and the rest would be paid by companies in the energy park.