W. Feliciana port seeks $4.2 million to buy railroad track
The West Feliciana Port Commission wants the state Legislative to provide $4.2 million in state capital outlay funds to buy land and 22 miles of railroad track for port and industrial development.
Port Commission members said Thursday they hope to get the money through an amendment added to the capital outlay bill at the next meeting of the state Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee.
The proposed funding is critical to the future of West Feliciana Parish and “to rejuvenate the stagnant economy” of the parish, where more than 500 jobs have been lost, commission President Jack Hanemann said.
The proposed port project calls for acquisition of 76 acres of land, purchase of 22 miles of track from Canadian National Railway, plus permits, surveys, soil sampling and planning, commissioners said.
The railway extends from north of Baton Rouge to the former Tembec paper mill, which closed in July 2007, was reopened by Renew Paper, but was closed again in 2009.
Amzak Capital Management, a Florida-based firm, purchased the mill and 610 acres of property at auction in April for $9.9 million, commissioners said.
Hanemann said that 30 months ago, Canadian National put an “embargo” on the 22-mile track and took it out of service.
He said that the railway company has indicated no interest in reinstituting service and could at any time abandon the line, pull the track and sell it for scrap metal.
Hanemann said the Port Commission would like a letter from Amzak officials endorsing action by the Legislature to provide the funding sought by the commission.
According to the timetable that Hanemann passed out at the meeting, members have until the end of next week to seek written endorsements from concerned officials and to make personal contacts with legislators and state officials to support the amendment providing the funds sought by the Port Commission.Full Story
“Danses avec des cocodrie”
Since: Jul 07
#1 May 28, 2010
Another one of Steve Jones' and Ambrose Sims' pipe dreams.$4.2million of our tax dollars for a rail line determined by its current owner to be useless.
What are you guys smoking?
#2 Oct 10, 2010
Does Jack Hanneman receive any pay or expenses for the time he puts in for the Port Commission? Where does he work? Did he work for any other Port Commission?
#3 Oct 11, 2010
This railroad spur is very important to the development of an industrial area in West Feliciana Parish. It is in the best interest, regardless of the cost, of the parish to retain this railroad. It would assist not only the present owner of the paper mill,with its growth, but provide the parish with an asset to show other investors, of our willingness to assist them in building and investing in West Feliciana Parish. surly on of the poorest parishes in the state,when it comes to industrial development
#4 Oct 11, 2010
Ambrose...you've just played your "hole card"; as you stated "regardless of the cost". Have fun for now. Believe me when I saw that statement, I knew that we're coming after you with a vengeance..REGARDLESS OF THE COST. You arrogant bastard.
Saint Francisville, LA
#5 Dec 28, 2010
Jack is the retired Director of Governmantal Affairs for Entergy. He's a volunteer - no pay, no expense account or auto reimbursement. He never worked for any other port commission.
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