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By KEVIN KOELLING
TELL CITY – Traffic was beginning to increase at the Port of Tell City, according to the operations manager and trainmaster for the port authority and Hoosier Southern Railroad.
Kevin Teague was reporting at a regular board-of-directors meeting June 11.
While fewer barges and railcars than expected had transited the port, “I could see late in May that things were starting to change, and they have; we’ve already run 30 cars … so far this month, with a pretty healthy inbound lineup,” he said. “So it looks like the cars are going to pick up and hopefully they’ll stay strong through the month.”
He was also hopeful “the slow period’s over,” he said. While no barges were expected this month, “it looks like we’ll get quite a few in July.”
A needed locomotive power-assembly replacement “really hit us” in equipment costs, he said. Except for it, both expenses and revenues were lower than planned for May.
Teague said he was working to ensure cars will be available for American Colloid when that company replaces track leading to its Troy facility beginning July 1. The company supplies Waupaca, which will shut down for a week at the same time, he said.
“They’re going to work that week to replace the track, and we’ve got some backup set up with Flash Trucking to move clay into the plant,” Teague told the board.
He also reported he had submitted a TIGER 5 grant application. Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grants were first launched under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Web site. That act was intended to stimulate the national economy and the grants have focused on infrastructure development.
The computer system grant officials use doesn’t recognize the port authority as a government entity, so the application had to be submitted by the county commissioners, Teague said. Registration through a “very-little-known” Web site could change their status, but would take five to six weeks to accomplish, he added.
The port authority will have to provide a 25-percent match for the $5.8 million project that will replace bridges at the Hoosier Southern Railroad’s 11.7- and 8.1-mile points.
Tom Holm was elected June 11 as vice chairman of the port authority’s board of directors. The News erroneously reported Danny Thomas was elected, but Thomas was and remains the board secretary.