By Natalie Conrad
Herald Staff Writer
The city has made its mark as an integral part of the Union Pacific Railroad by being awarded to the company’s Train Town USA Registry.
City officials and community leaders met at the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday to celebrate several Union Pacific foundation grants awarded to local organizations and being named to the exclusive list of communities with a historical connection to the railroad on its 150th anniversary.
“Clinton has always been a partner in every sense of the word,” Brenda Mainwaring, director of Public Affairs for Union Pacific said. “They have been with us through economic development as such a heartfelt partner.”
About 50 communities are expected to be put on the list. The number is not set in stone, as the company is still determining more communities to add, according to Mainwaring.
Regardless, it will be a small percentage of communities to make the exclusive designation. The amount of business and employees are deciding factors in determining the community’s importance to the company.
Mayor Mark Vulich was presented with a proclamation declaring Clinton as a Train Town USA. Mainwaring also presented the city with a special plaque to recognize the award.
Vulich received a special emblem for the award along with Steve Ames, president of the Clinton Regional Development Corporation and Julie Allesee, Chamber of Commerce director.
“With these great leaders guiding Clinton, it will always remain at the forefront of development for Union Pacific,” Mainwaring said.
Vulich gave Mainwaring a replica drawing of the historical Clinton Train Depot as a gift to Union Pacific on their 150th year celebration.
“Union Pacific is important to our economic growth and stability,” Vulich said. “ On behalf of the city of Clinton, I would like to congratulate you on 150 years. We hope to move forward as we continue to develop our railport.”
The historic railroad dates back to the Pacific Railway Act signed by Abraham Lincoln on July 1, 1862. The Chicago, Iowa and Nebraska Railroad completed a rail line through Clinton in 1857. A second main line track was completed through Clinton in 1891 by the Chicago & North Western. Union Pacific merged with the C&NW in 1995.
“We make sure we celebrate our anniversaries with the communities that make Union Pacific what it is today,” Mainwaring said. “We are nothing without communities like yours.”
Clinton Symphony Orchestra Association, Felix Adler Children’s Discovery Center and United Way of Clinton County received foundation awards from the company at the ceremony. The Union Pacific Foundation is granting about $220,000 to 28 Iowa nonprofit organizations in 2012.
Organizations can apply for the 2013 grant beginning May 1 by visiting Uprr.com. Deadline is Aug. 15.