As a result of last week’s Missouri River Basin meeting, I wanted to update you on an agenda item we discussed. Please make sure you read to the below with the highlighted piece as it contains IRPT’s ask of you and potential action.

Agenda item ix. on the attached meeting agenda was an update on funding programs available through Missouri Department of Transportation. As discussed, there are two primary capitalization programs available:

  1. Freight Enhancement Program (FRE): These funds must be allocated annually through the General Assembly budget process. For years, MoDOT has requested $1 million for the program. Funds in this program can be for both private and public entities, as well as for rail, water and air projects. Here is a historical snapshot of the program:
Fiscal Year Total Amount Available thru MoDOT Total Amount Requested by Potential Recipients
FY ‘19 $1 million $4,731,372
FY ‘18 $1 million $4,323,332
FY ‘17 $1 million $3,109,166
FY ‘16 $1 million $3,146,608
FY ‘15 $650,000 NA
FY ‘14 $850,000 NA

 

  • The project sponsors during these 5 cycles were:
    • 8 public port authorities
    • 1 airport, Springfield
    • 2 railroads, COLT and BNSF
    • 2 to cities and counties, City of Springfield and Pettis County
    • 3 private entities, Progressive Rail, AgriServices and Haventon Farms,
    • 2 not-for-profit, City of Sedalia/Pettis County Community Service Corporation
    • 1 educational institution, the University of Missouri Research Reactor
  • The project types were:
    • 9 railroad extension, rehabilitation, or upgrade
    • 3 enabling loading from truck to rail
    • 2 dock improvements
    • 1 grain pit for loading/unloading barges
    • 1 port storage facility
    • 1 foreign trade zone anchor customs facility
    • 1 penning system to direct livestock from truck to air transport
    • 1 specialized shipping casks for radioactive materials

 

The full list of awards can be found here: http://www.modot.org/othertransportation/freight/documents/FreightEnhancementProgramAwards.pdf

  1. Missouri’s Capital Improvements Program (CIP): This is a capital investment program specifically for public ports. Here is the whats-what on CIP:

 

Fiscal Year Total amount available Total amount for projects requested
FY ‘19 $7.64 million NA
FY ‘18 $1.5 million NA
FY ‘17 $4.06 million NA
FY ‘16 $3 million NA
FY ‘15 $3 million NA
FY ‘14 $3 million NA

 

From all of this data provided by Missouri Department of Transportation combined with the discussion at the Basin meeting, we can gather that the capitalization needs exceed the amounts available for improvement projects and that the privately-owned terminal needs should be better funded. In order to bring more attention to freight improvement projects and the impact the terminals have on their communities and our state, IRPT and its Members are looking into some options:

  • Awareness program to educate State lawmakers and local governments on the impact these businesses have through the use of:
    • Education materials;
    • Direct face-to-face visits;
    • Water Day at the Hill;
    • Lunch and Learn event in Jefferson City;
    • Perhaps others

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​In order for this to be impactful and in-turn possibly increasing funding amounts, we must express to them:

  • Types of commodities you handle;
  • Its impact on the nation (i.e. where is the cargo destined to or coming from);
  • Annual tonnage supported by your operations;
  • Number of jobs supported by your operations;
  • The impact investment would have on your ability to increase the above numbers
  • And perhaps more.

I will circulate more information when its available, but if I could please have you start thinking about whether you’d be interested in joining us in this endeavor, I would appreciate it.

I would also like to make very clear, that we are asking for higher funding amounts to the Freight Enhancement Program and that the Capital Investment Program remain for its intended use for Public Ports. The investment at Public Ports is much needed and is a benefit to those ports, the terminals that operate on them and the general public.

 

Aimee Andres, AMPE
Executive Director