Greene County Commission agrees to submit grant proposal for Alabama Gulf Coast Railroad

At its regular meeting on Monday night, December 12, 2016, the Greene County Commission agreed to submit a grant proposal on behalf of The Alabama Gulf Coast Railroad to the FASTLANE II program of the U. S. Department of Transportation.
The Alabama Gulf Coast Railroad runs from Columbus, Mississippi to the ports of Mobile, Alabama Pensacola, Florida, on the Gulf Coast. The 348-mile railroad provides freight services to industries in Pickens, Greene, Hale, Marengo, Wilcox, Monroe and Escambia counties in Alabama; and Escambia and Baldwin counties in Florida.
The proposed project will provide support for major and minor improvements to 114 bridges along the route of the railroad. These improvements will allow the use of 286,000 pound standard maximum weight freight cars, so customers can increase their shipping capabilities and competitiveness.
The project costs a total of $16.1 million. The A&GC Railroad has contributed $7 million, the Florida DOT has made a 5% match at $ 769,000 and the DOT FASTLANE grant request is for $ 8.3 million. The Railroad needed a state or county government sponsor to submit the grant. The Greene County Commission agreed to be a sponsor and will receive some administrative fees for serving as the fiscal agent for the grant.
The Greene County Commission received a financial report from Paula Bird, County Finance Officer, showing total expenses for the two months (October and November 2016) of the fiscal year were $1,276,482.50, which is 11.11% of the budget and in line with the projections for the year. She also reported $ 3.54 million in cash on hand; $681,151 and $390,094 in bond sinking funds; and an escrow for Greenetrack funds of $83,343.In other business, the Commission:
• approved travel for staff to training programs,
• approved County Engineers request to change County Road 119 to a dirt road,
• adopted holiday calendar for Dec. 23 and Dec. 30,
• employed Vernon Nickson, as van driver for the Eutaw Nutrition Center,
• extended County Engineers contract until December 2021.

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