Bingo distribution totals $65.065.32 Sheriff Benison says new bingo operation to open in Greene County

On Monday, June 23, following the regular distribution of bingo funds to designated entities, Greene County Sheriff Jonathan Benison announced that a new bingo operation will begin soon in Greene County. Benison later clarified that he was referring to the Raymond Austin Memorial Foundation for Rural Advancement & Development, Inc., a bingo charity licensed by Sheriff Benison in August 2019.
The sheriff also noted that this bingo operation will be located in the former South Fork Restaurant on County Road 208. The expected date to open is July 1.
The Greene County Sheriff’s Department reported a total distribution of $65,065.32 (8 days of operation ) for the month of May, 2020 from three licensed bingo gaming operations in the county. The bingo distributions were contributed by Frontier, River’s Edge and Palace.
The recipients of the May distributions from bingo gaming include the Greene County Commission, Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the cities of Eutaw, Forkland, Union, Boligee, the Greene County Board of Education and the Greene County Hospital (Health System).
Sub charities include Children Policy Council, Fire Department, Greene County Golf Course, Branch Heights Housing Authority, Department of Human Resources and the Greene County Library.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $28,280.33 to the following: Greene County Commission, $6,888.42; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $8,708.81; City of Eutaw, $2,386.26; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $1,000; Greene County Board of Education, $3,018.48; Greene County Health System, $3,225.48. Sub Charities each, $175.48.
River’s Edge (Next Level Leaders and Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of $17,768.59 to the following: Greene County Commission, $4,723.56; Greene County Sheriff’s $5,214.92; City of Eutaw, $1,429.27; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $598.75; Greene County Board of Education, $1,622.42, and the Greene County Health System, $1,931.45. Sub Charities, each $175.12.
Palace (TS Police Support League) gave a total of $19,016.40 to the following: Greene County Commission, $5,055.28; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $5,581.10; City of Eutaw, $1,529.65; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $640.80; Greene County Board of Education, $1,736.36 and the Greene County Health System, $2,067.09; Sub Charities each, 538.02.

Greene County bingo distributes $169,425.05 for March 2020

Greene County Sheriff Jonathan Benison promoting social distancing presents distribution check to Forkland Clerk Kinya Isaac and Greene County Health System CEO Dr. Marcia Pugh.

The Greene County Sheriff’s Department reported a total distribution of $169,425.05 (1/2 payment) for the month of March, 2020 from three licensed bingo gaming operations in the county. The bingo distributions were contributed by Frontier, River’s Edge and Palace. The recipients of the March distributions from bingo gaming include the Greene County Commission, Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the cities of Eutaw, Forkland, Union, Boligee, the Greene County Board of Education and the Greene County Hospital (Health System). Sub charities include Children Policy Council, Fire Department, Greene County Golf Course, Branch Heights Housing Authority, Department of Human Resources and the Greene County Library.
Sheriff Benison’s bingo rules provide that the Association of Volunteer Fire Departments, headed by Hodges Smith, receives between $,3400 and $3,500 each month from bingo operators, however, Mr. Smith refuses to cash the checks and states that he has been advised not to accept the money from the Sheriff’s rules.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $33,386.25 to the following: Greene County Commission, $8,875.20; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,798.45; City of Eutaw, $2,685.45; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $1,125; Greene County Board of Education, $3,048.45; Greene County Health System, $3,629.10. Sub Charities, $329.10.
River’s Edge (Next Level Leaders and Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of $55,082.64 to the following: Greene County Commission, $14,643.03; Greene County Sheriff’s 16,166.25; City of Eutaw, $4,430.75; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $1,856.13; Greene County Board of Education, $5,029.50, and the Greene County Health System, $5,987.50. Sub Charities, $542.87.
Palace (TS Police Support League) gave a total of $80,956.16 to the following: Greene County Commission, $21,521; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $23,760; City of Eutaw, $6,512; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $2,718; Greene County Board of Education, $7,392 and the Greene County Health System, $8,800; Sub Charities, 797.86.
Sheriff Benison set guides for re-opening bingo facilities
Due to the COVID-19 virus, March and April 2020 fees under Electronic Bingo amendment 743 were delayed or not received in the electronic bingo office that is regulated by Sheriff Jonathan Benison. The fees are required in the rules and regulations set out in amendment 743 which is regulated by the Sheriff of Greene County.
Although the electronic bingo halls were closed because of the virus, the electronic bingo licensees and operators saw some of the citizens’ needs in the county. Some of the licensees and operators decided to meet some of these needs by paying some of the required amendment 743 fees to the charities.
The electronic bingo licensees and operators who met this challenge were Frontier-Dream, Palace (T.S. Police Support League and Rivers Edge – Next Level Leaders and Tishabee Non- Profit Organization.
In the meantime Sheriff Jonathan Benison has sent a letter to each licensee and operator asking them to submit in writing a safety sanitation plan for employees and patrons that will be returning to the electronic bingo halls to play and work.
The safety of all future patrons is at stake. Face masks, gloves, plastic face shield may be necessary as a future expense that each operator may have to incur, due to the close proximity of each patron.With face masks, ‘No smoking’ would be a problem to some patrons. Hand wipes/sanitizing each machine after each player quits playing to insure the next player is at a ‘clean’ machine.
This virus pandemic may require additional employees to make sure that the halls are kept sanitized.
Submitted by Sheriff Jonathan Benison

Sheriff distributes $349,814.79 for February from three bingo facilities

Shown L to R accepting bingo distributions: Union Councilwoman Louise Harkness; Martina Henley, representing the City of Eutaw; Kelsey Spencer, representing the Eutaw Housing Authority; James Morrow for the Greene County Golf Course; Sheriff Benison; Marylin Gibson for the Greene County Library; Earnestine Wade for Town of Boligee; Yolanda Young for DHR; Dr. Marcia Pugh CEO GC Health System and Forkland Mayor Charlie McAlpine.

The Greene County Sheriff’s Department reported a total distribution of $349,814.79 for the month of February 2020 from three licensed bingo gaming operations in the county, including Frontier, River’s Edge and Palace. The Charities of Greenetrack, Inc. reported distributions to the various community entities separately from the sheriff.
The recipients of the February distributions from bingo gaming designated by Sheriff Benison in his Bingo Rules and Regulations include the Greene County Commission, the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the cities of Eutaw, Forkland, Union, Boligee, the Greene County Board of Education and the Greene County Hospital (Health System).
This distribution report includes the following Bingo Sub- Charities: Association of Volunteer Fire Departments, Greene County Golf Course, Poole Memorial Library, Children’s Policy Council, Greene County Housing Authority and Department of Human Resources.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $68,997 to the following: Greene County Commission, $18,342; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $20,250; City of Eutaw, $5,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $2,325; Greene County Board of Education, $6,300, Greene County Health System, $7,500. Frontier’s total distribution included $4,080 to six sub charities at $680 each.
River’s Edge (Next Level Leaders and Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of $118,904.85 to the following: Greene County Commission $31,609.38; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $34,897.50; City of Eutaw, $9,564.50; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $4,006.75; Greene County Board of Education, $10,857, and the Greene County Health System, $12,925. River’s Edge total distribution included $7,301.22 to six sub charities at $1,171.87 each.
Palace (TS Police Support League) gave a total of $161,912.94 to the following: Greene County Commission, 43,042.56; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $47,520; City of Eutaw, $13,024; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $5,456; Greene County Board of Education, $14,784 and the Greene County Health System, $17,600. Palace’s total distribution included $9,574.38 to six sub charities at $1,595.73 each.

Greene County bingo distributes $425,814.57 for January 2020, including $24,857.58 to sub charities

Shown L to R accepting bingo distributions: Kathy Bir, for the City of Eutaw; James Morrow, for the Greene County Golf Course; Dr. Marcia Pugh CEO GC Health System; Jennifer Watkins for the Children’s Policy Council; Marylin Gibson for the Greene County Library; Anita Lewis for the Greene County Housing Authority; Sheriff Benison; Emma Jackson Bingo Clerk; Yolanda Young, for DHR; Lorenzo Thompson for Town of Union, Earnestine Wade for Town of Boligee, LaVonda Blair, Greene County Board of Education CFO; and Joe Tuck for the Town of Forkland. (not shown a representative from the Greene County Commission).

The Greene County Sheriff’s Department reported a total distribution of $425,814.57 for the month of January 2020 from four licensed bingo gaming operations in the county. The bingo distributions for January are contributed by Greenetrack, Inc., Frontier, River’s Edge and Palace.
Sheriff Benison announced a new bingo entity, the Raymond Austin Memorial Foundation for Rural Advancement & Development, Inc. will open in April/May.
The recipients of the monthly distributions from bingo gaming designated by Sheriff Benison in his Bingo Rules and Regulations include the Greene County Commission, the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the cities of Eutaw, Forkland, Union, Boligee, the Greene County Board of Education and the Greene County Hospital (Health System).
This distribution report includes the following Bingo Sub- Charities: Association of Volunteer Fire Departments, Greene County Golf Course, Poole Memorial Library, Children’s Policy Council, Greene County Housing Authority and Department of Human Resources.
Greenetrack, Inc. gave a total of $71,400 to the following: Greene County Commission, (no distribution); Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000 + $24,000 for undesignated recipient); City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, the Greene County Health System, $7,500.
Greenetrack’s total distribution included $3,900 to 13 sub charities at $300 each.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $68,997 to the following: Greene County Commission, $18,342; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $20,250; City of Eutaw, $5,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $2,325; Greene County Board of Education, $6,300, Greene County Health System, $7,500.
Frontier’s total distribution included $4,080 to six sub charities at $680 each.
River’s Edge (Next Level Leaders and Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of $123,504.63 to the following: Greene County Commission $32,832.18; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $36,247.50; City of Eutaw, $9,934.50; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $4,161.75; Greene County Board of Education, $11,277.00, and the Greene County Health System, $13,425.
River’s Edge total distribution included $7,303.20 to six sub charities at $1,217.20 each.
Palace (TS Police Support League) gave a total of $161,912.94 to the following: Greene County Commission, 43,042.56; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $47,520; City of Eutaw, $13,024; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $5,456; Greene County Board of Education, $14,784 and the Greene County Health System, $17,600.
Palace’s total distribution included $9,574.38 to six sub charities at $1,595.73 each.

Bingo entities provide $372,455 to county recipients for February

Shown above Bingo Clerk Minnie Byrd, Forkland Clerk Kinya Isaac, Union Councilwoman Rosie Davis, Greene County Heath System CEO Dr. Marcia Pugh, Greene County Sheriff Jonathan Benison, Brenda Burke representing Greene County Commission, Assistant Chief of Police Walter Beck representing the City of Eutaw, Boligee City Councilwoman Ernestine Wade and Bingo Clerk Emma Jackson

Thursday, March 21, 2019 the Greene County Sheriff Department reported a total distribution of $372,455 for the month of February, 2019 from the five licensed gaming operations in the county. The recipients of the monthly distributions from bingo gaming designated by Sheriff Benison in his Bingo Rules and Regulations include the Greene County Commission, the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the cities of Eutaw, Forkland, Union, Boligee, the Greene County Board of Education and the Greene County Hospital (Health System).
Greenetrack, Inc. gave a total of $65,000 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, the Greene County Health System, $5,000.

Green Charity (Center for Rural Family Development) gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, the Greene County Health System, $7,500.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, Greene County Health System, $7,500.
River’s Edge (NNL – Next Level Leaders and TCCTP – Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of $73,125 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, and the Greene County Health System, $13,125.
Palace (TS Police Support League) gave a total of $99,330 to the following: Greene County Commission, $4,620; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $36,960; City of Eutaw, $27,720; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $4,620; Greene County Board of Education, $4,620 and the Greene County Health System, $11,550.

Bingo facilities distribute $367,525 for month of May

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Shown above Bingo Clerk Emma Jackson, Brenda Burke representing the Greene County Commission, Bingo Clerk Minnie Byrd, Greene County Sheriff Jonathan Benison, Greene County Health System CEO, Dr. Marcia Pugh, Assistance Chief Walter Beck, Probate Judge Julia Spree and Boligee Councilwoman Earnestine Wade.

 

On Friday, June 15, 2018, Greene County Sheriff Department reported a total distribution of $367,525 for the month of May from the five licensed gaming operations in the county. The recipients of the monthly distributions from bingo gaming designated by Sheriff Benison in his Bingo Rules and Regulations include the Greene County Commission, the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the cities of Eutaw, Forkland, Union, Boligee, the Greene County Board of Education and the Greene County Hospital (Health System).
The following assessments are for the month of May 2018.

Greenetrack, Inc. gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, the Greene County Health System, $7,500.
Green Charity (Center for Rural Family Development) gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, the Greene County Health System, $7,500.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, Greene County Health System, $7,500.
River’s Edge (NNL – Next Level Leaders and TCCTP – Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of $73,225 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, and the Greene County Health System, $13,225.
Palace (Tommy Summerville Police Support League) gave a total of $99,330 to the following: Greene County Commission, $4,620; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $36,930; City of Eutaw, $27,720; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $4,620; Greene County Board of Education, $4,620 and the Greene County Health System, $11,550.

 

Bingo gaming allocates $374,905 for January

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Shown above: Forkland City Councilman, Willie Sashington; Mayor of Union, James Gaines; Bingo Clerk, Emma Jackson; Assist. Police Chief, Walter Beck, Sheriff Jonathan Benison; Boligee City Councilwoman, Earnestine Wade; Greene County School Superintendent, Dr. James Carter; Brenda Burke, representing the County Commission; and Bingo Clerk, Minnie Byrd.

 

On Tuesday, February 20, 2018, Greene County Sheriff Department distributed $ 374,905 in monthly bingo allocations from the five licensed gaming operations in the county. The recipients of the monthly distributions from bingo gaming designated by Sheriff Benison in his Bingo Rules and Regulations include the Greene County Commission, the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the cities of Eutaw, Forkland, Union, Boligee, the Greene County Board of Education and the Greene County Hospital (Health System).
The following assessments are for the month of January 2018.

Greenetrack, Inc. gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500 and the Greene County Health System, $7,500.
Green Charity (Center for Rural Family Development) gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, the Greene County Health System, $7,500.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, Greene County Health System, $7,500.
River’s Edge (NNL – Next Level Leaders and TCCTP – Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of $73,075 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, and the Greene County Health System, $13,075.
Palace (Tommy Summerville Police Support League) gave a total of $99,330 to the following: Greene County Commission, $4,620; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $36,960; City of Eutaw, $27,720; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $4,620; Greene County Board of Education, $4,620 and the Greene County Health System, $11,550.

 

Total of $375,580 disbursed to all agencies : All county bingo facilities contribute to Greene County Health System for November

 

 

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Shown above: Bingo Clerks Minnie Byrd and Emma Jackson; Mayor of Union Jams Gaines; Greene County Board of Education, CSFO Katrina Sewell; Sheriff Jonathan Benison; Kinya Isaac Turner representing the Town of Forkland; Brenda Burke representing the County Commission, Assist Chief Walter Beck, Shirley Edwards Greene County Hospital Board member, and Boligee Mayor Louis Harper.

On Friday, December 15, 2017, Greene County Sheriff Department distributed $ 375,580 in monthly bingo allocations from the five licensed gaming operations in the county. The recipients of the monthly distributions from bingo gaming designated by Sheriff Benison in his Bingo Rules and Regulations include the Greene County Commission, the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the cities of Eutaw, Forkland, Union, Boligee, the Greene County Board of Education and the Greene County Hospital (Health System).
The following assessments are for the month of November 2017.
Greenetrack, Inc. gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500 and the Greene County Health System, $7,500.

Green Charity (Center for Rural Family Development) gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, the Greene County Health System, $7,500.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, Greene County Health System, $7,500.
River’s Edge (NNL – Next Level Leaders and TCCTP – Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of $73,750 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, and the Greene County Health System, $13,750.
Palace (Tommy Summerville Police Support League) gave a total of $99,330 to the following: Greene County Commission, $4,620; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $36,960; City of Eutaw, $27,720; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $4,620; Greene County Board of Education, $4,620 and the Greene County Health System, $11,550.

Oliver seeks Boligee Mayor’s position

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Marvin E. Oliver has qualified to run for Mayor of the Town of Boligee in the August 23rd municipal election.
Mr. Oliver was born in Maitland, FL and was an honor graduate of Robert Hungerford High School in Eatonville, FL. He received his BS degree from Alabama State University and his Masters degree from the University of Alabama. In 1973 he was employed by the Greene County Board of Education as a music instructor at Birdine Jr. High School in Forkland. In the fall of 1980 he was transferred to Paramount High School in Boligee. He became a resident of Boligee in 1985 and in 2000 he was assigned to work at Paramount, Carver and the newly former Greene County High School. For five years, he was the only music teacher in the school system.
After working in the local system for 42 years he retired.
He and his wife of 20 years, Maggie, reside in Boligee and since being retired have acquired an interest in seeing the Town of Boligee advance far beyond what it is today.

Oliver said, “Since moving to Boligee, I have seen the town all but disappear. Boligee had two stores, a restaurant, a laundromat, ABC store, a garage, Boligee Cafe, the Post Office Town Hall and Arrowood Apartments. Now all that is left are the Post Office, Town Hall, Boligee Cafe and Arrowood.
“I want to spearhead the effort to bring Boligee back to life. I want to give the citizens of Boligee reasons to be proud of Boligee once again. I know that there is a lot that needs to be done but I am committed to this challenge. I love living in  Boligee. I have a vision for Boligee. I want to see Boligee grow and prosper. My goal is prosperity for Boligee.”

Alabama Gulf Coast Railroad holds briefing to support Western Alabama Rail Improvement Project

By: John Zippert,
Co-Publisher

 

Train
On Tuesday July 19, 2016, with a giant orange railroad engine as a backdrop, the Alabama Gulf Coast Railroad held a briefing in Mt. Hebron, in Greene County – north of Boligee, to gather support for its  $16.1 million Western Alabama Rail Improvement Project.

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7th. District Congresswoman Terri Sewell, State Senator Bobby Singleton, State Representatives McCampbell and Howard, Greene and Sumter County Commissioners, Greene County Industrial Board members, representatives of industries along the railroad route and executives of the railroad participated in the briefing.
The Alabama Gulf Coast Railroad is a 348-mile railroad connecting Columbus, Mississippi with Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida on the Gulf Coast. The tracks pass through Pickens, Sumter, Greene, Marengo, Clarke, Washington, Wilcox, Monroe and Escambia counties on the way to the Gulf Coast. The Alabama Gulf Coast Railroad is part of the Genessee and Wyoming Railroad Company, which owns several hundred short line railroads in this country and internationally.
The $16.1 million dollar proposal would enhance tracks and make minor and major repairs to 114 bridges between Columbus and Mobile and Pensacola. These repairs are needed to accommodate larger standard rail cars that carry 286,000 pounds of freight. Currently the AGC-RxR can only accommodate cars with a capacity of 263,000 pounds – a crucial difference of 23,000 pounds.
The AGC-RxR connects with five A-1 North American Railroads, most of which are using the larger cars. Improving the tracks and bridges would allow for the AGC railroad to carry freight more efficiently for less cost to its industrial customers along the route.
The $16.1 million dollar proposal has been submitted to the U. S. Department of Transportation, as part of the TIGER Program. The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER Discretionary Grant program, provides a unique opportunity for the DOT to invest in road, rail, transit and port projects that promise to achieve national objectives and cross regional and state lines.
Bill Jasper, President of Alabama Gulf Coast Railroad, indicated that of the $16.1 million, the company and customers along the route were providing $7,031,000 (42%) and the State of Florida DOT was providing $769,000 (5%) in matching funds. The request of the Federal government was for $8.3 million (53%).
Congresswoman Terri Sewell expressed support for the project.  “These TIGER discretionary grants are highly competitive and we must answer tough questions about its impact and benefits to local communities in terms of job creation and new economic opportunities for depressed communities. This project will do a lot to impact economically depressed counties in my district, which is why I support the project,” said Sewell.
Mike Davis, manager of Chemical Waste Management in Emelle, Alabama (Sumter County) praised the project and said, “ Chem-Waste is looking at bringing in more waste in a waste-by-rail system. We have increased our tonnage in recent years by 28% and have also increased our employment by 28%. We see rail and connections with northern sources of waste as a way to grow and increase our business.
We know that the bridges must be strengthened to bring in full cars of waste supplies to our facilities.”
Ken Tucker, president of the University of West Alabama in Livingston, Alabama, said “ This project will bring workforce training opportunities, job creation and employment to the entire western Alabama corridor to the Gulf. Many of our graduates want to stay and work and live in the Alabama Black Belt but they are forced to move away. This project will bring opportunities to the unemployed, under-employed and graduates of our university. We hope it is fully funded.”
Phillis Belcher, Director of the Greene County Industrial Development Authority, said, “Our Crossroads of America Industrial Park, in Boligee, lies along the route of the Alabama Gulf Coast Rail Road. We have a switch and a spur of tracks that come into our industrial park, from the main rail line. We recently improved our tracks and we are ready for the increased development that will come from this needed Federal infrastructure project.”
Another participant in the briefing said, “You have to be careful and make sure that when the Federal government provides support for this kind of project that the benefits actually flow to the people and communities that need them the most.
Bill Jasper urged people who support the project to write a letter to: Anthony Fox, Secretary of Transportation, Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, D. C. 20590.