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Old 11-13-2012, 10:23 PM   #41
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Default From Minutes of Interstate Railroad Committe meeting of October 8, 2012

Last week, I did a transcript of part of the minutes of the Interstate Carolina Southern Railroad committe of North and South Carolina, from the meeting of October 8, 2012.

I accidently hit some wrong key, no idea which one, and it got lost before I could post it, and I couldn't recover it.

So, here it is again, from Section VII. Briefing and Discussion of Alternative Solutions to Immediately Get the CSRR Back in Operation and Discussion of the Longer Term Issues/Opportunities.

"Co-Chairman Wendel asked these three gentlemen to give a briefing on alternatives for the current railroad situation and the dilemma of not having funds for repairs. He asked them what funding opportunities are available in their specific areas and how to pursue those alternatives.

. . . Jeff McWhorter stated that S.C. Public Railways, created in 1969, is a holding company for three railroad companies, two of which provide switching operations within the state port facilities. The other company is a shortline railroad. They also own some other rail properties throughout the state. They were rolled into the S.C. Department of Commerce, largely because of their economic development role. Their funding is generated through the services that they provide. They are not a regulatory or a grant agency. Any money invested goes toward projects with an economic development component.

Mr. McWhorter was asked if he could operate in North Carolina, and he responded in the affirmative. He also confirmed, when asked, that his company is making a profit. Mr. McWhorter was asked if he and Mr. Pippin were to sit down and work out something, how long would it take for him to get approval. He responded that he and Mr. Pippin have been working together and have formulated a plan, and they have solicited and individual to assist with the evaluation process. Mr. McWhorter recently received the evaluation but has not had time to review it. Mr. Pippin stated that, from general knowledge, it would probably take 90-120 days. Mr. Pippin further stated, however, that he was not sure that this is the cure for the problem, and he posed the question to Mr. Frate as to the likelihood that the state would apply for RRIF funds.

Co-Chariman Wendel stated that he had been to Columbia to meet with the S.C. Secretary of Commerce, Robert Hitt. Mr. Hitt recognizes the importance of the railroad to the counties involved as well as the fact that the Pippin's have exhaused their alternatives for making the necessary repairs.

Co-Chairman Wendell then redirected the meeting for a discussion of the worst case scenario. He asked Mr. Pippin for alternatives if he could not work out something to get the bridges repaired and if he was unwilling to sell or lease the railroad. Mr. Pippin reiterated that there is federal funding available to address this type of problem but that apparently someone other than himself has to impress upon the federal government that this railroad is a critical piece of infrastructure to the counties involved. The followng two alternatives were identified:

*A relationship between S.C. Public Railways and Carolina Southern Railroad.

*A mechanism for a loan to Carolina Southern Railroad.

The question was asked as to whether there are any emergency provisions under the law that would allow intervention of some kind, and Mr. McWhorter responded that he iw aware that there are various remedies available but he is not well versed in them because he has never had to use them . . . "

Note: Mr. Frate, referred to above, is identified in the Attendee List for the meeting of October 8, 2012, as Doug Frate, Director of the Office of Public Transit within the Division of Intermodal and Freight Programs at the SC Department of Transportation.
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