The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Clinton

June 25, 2014

RAIL.ONE discussions dominate council meeting (with VIDEOS)

CLINTON — More than half of Tuesday's three-hour Clinton City Council meeting centered around the city's major new occupant.

Video: Mayor Vulich on RAIL.ONE's development thus far.

Larry Huinker, plant manager of the first Lincolnway Industrial Railpark occupant RAIL.ONE, said in the two months since April's grand opening, the company is more than pleased with results. The tentative development agreement between the city and the business stipulates the concrete rail tie factory will create 50 jobs at minimum.

Video: Job creation is good but the real impact comes if the money stays local, a concern raised by Councilman Rowland Tuesday.

Production so far has caused the company to hire a third shift, Huinker said, and that number of jobs is looking more in the ballpark of 70. Another good sign is that the balance of current employees reside in Clinton city limits or neighboring communities, and company purchases are mostly local.

"Every indication is that they like our quality," Huinker said. "Clinton's a good intersection for railroads. It's just a great opportunity for us to be in Clinton. Everything came together here. We've had great support from the council and from the CRDC (Clinton Regional Development Corporation). I've never seen so many people be at the forefront like this."

After sifting through a hefty load of questions, council members ultimately set a public hearing date on said development agreement; moved a resolution of support for a RAIL.ONE endeavor to the next agenda; and unanimously approved a proposal to receive consulting services on a joint track use agreement in the railpark.

The hearing is scheduled for the July 8 regular meeting. During it, citizens and the council can discuss specific issues regarding the development agreement, which has changed since it previously appeared before the council.

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