The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Clinton

May 22, 2013

Railport: Clinton, CRDC work on future process

CLINTON — With the first rail-served tenants moving in, officials with the city of Clinton, McClure Engineering and the Clinton Regional Development Corp. met Tuesday to discuss the future of the Lincolnway Railport.

During the work session, which was held at the Ericksen Community Center on Tuesday afternoon, officials with the three entities identified several objectives they would like to work on in order to foster growth and development in the railport.

The rough estimate of the potential $60 million in future costs the city faces to continue in the railport development was a sticking point before the group started discussing the objectives.

The future development costs include around $25 million in future land purchases, $10 million for roadways, $10.5 million for water and sewer, $3.2 million for rail and the $6 million the city owes the county for its participation. These figures are rough estimates, Finance Director and interim City Administrator Jessica Kinser told those who attended the meeting.

Kevin Bailey, a transportation engineer with McClure Engineering, the firm the city hired to coordinate railport projects, explained the numbers don't take into account other funding such as grants, sale proceeds and tax revenue the city would receive once companies locate in the railport.

"Without that other side of the ledger, it looks really scary," Bailey said.

The potential costs of the city's future participation also shaped a number of the objectives.

First, the group agreed it should investigate the water options for parcels in the railport and a water supply plan should be created by Sept. 1.

Finding an equity partner that would financially support the railport was the second objective identified. The equity partner would partially bankroll the development for a percentage of ownership in the railpark.

Former CRDC Chairman Bruce Christensen said he and former CRDC President Steve Ames met with potential equity partners a year ago, but at the time the railpark was not ready to attract one, but it is now.

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