The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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May 22, 2013

Railport: Clinton, CRDC work on future process


"It's all going to come down to return," Christensen said. "If we can demonstrate a return, that money's out there."

Finding an equity partner would be under the CRDC's direction with an estimated time frame of three to six months to find one.

The group also said looking at future land acquisition, developing a strategic plan and certifying the site for development are future objectives.

Completing a corridor study for the area is also a priority, with that duty falling under McClure and the city to complete in three to six months.

The group also noted the absence of any county representation at the meeting. Mayor Mark Vulich explained that right now the county is acting solely as lender to the city because of a 28E agreement in which the county agreed to loan the city $6 million for the railport.

Attorney John Frey, who serves as the city representation through the RAIL.ONE sale, said he would like to address the county's role in the railport.

"We've got some immediate things we need to work out with the county in terms of how much of the sale money are they going to be expecting to take and longer term, what role are they going to play as a participant in future development. Also, their land-use controls in the vicinity of the railpark are all very important," Frey said.

The city will work with the county to determine what part the latter will play in the railport.

Overall, members of the three entities recognized that communication among themselves is crucial to the development going forward.

"As prospects come in, they're going to come in to the CRDC. The CRDC, because they're a private entity, has the ability to keep their conversations with those prospects private. Yet, we have to be able to respond from the city side to know whether you're going to be able to get a deal put together," Bailey said.

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