I appreciate Linn County’s support for establishment of an intermodal facility. But a couple of matters require clarification.
First, the legislative appropriation of $25 million is for establishment of an intermodal facility in the Mid-Valley. Nothing in the actual legislation or the Joint Committee hearing records indicates that the funding should pass through a 501(c)(4) Corporation. The appropriation goes to the Department of Transportation. The funds are lottery funds for economic development. Any applicant for these grant funds must submit a plan for approval by the Oregon Transportation Commission. If the plan is approved, the project organizers must then have a written agreement with the Department of Transportation as to how the plan will be implemented.
Our Oregon Shipping Group supported this appropriation. We are very much aware of the possibilities as to the former International Paper site in Millersburg. But we believe that a dynamic vision for development of intermodal transportation in the mid-Willamette Valley includes activity in Lebanon as well as Millersburg. This should not be a contest between Linn County and the City of Lebanon. The project has to be devoted to the greater good for all of the state, with a focus on the Mid-Willamette Valley.
The Oregon Shipping Group is committed to working with everyone to realize this vision.
Kevin L. Mannix
Oregon Shipping Group
Salem (Aug. 23)