2018-01-10 / Local News

Rail Commission organizes for 2018

Declines formal relationship with EDC
By Debbie Lowe
Staff writer

The Camden-Flora Rail Commission Board was recently presented with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) from the Carroll County Economic Development Corporation (EDC). The two groups formerly had a similar agreement, however EDC terminated the agreement in the middle of 2017.

The proposed agreement stated the EDC would secure industrial park sites as identified in the rail corridor and consistent with Carroll County objectives. The agreement would compel all Rail Commission activities to be in accordance to EDC’s goals and objectives and be in compliance with current contracts for community and economic development services. In addition, the proposal stated the EDC Director would be a voting member of the Rail Commission. The EDC Director was not a voting member of the group in the former agreement however she was present at all executive sessions.

The current EDC proposal offers up to $5,000 in financial support to the Rail Commission.

Rail Commission members David Albaugh, Julia Leahy and Pete Wagoner, along with the Towns of Flora and Camden clerktreasurers, Joretta Tinsman and Pat Casserly, respectively, decided to decline the offer from EDC Monday afternoon at their organizational meeting. Members Connie Cripe and Brett Hanaway were not present.

In a letter sent to the EDC Board, Rail Commission members stated that according to the inter-local agreement between Camden and Flora, which established the Commission with the Indiana Secretary of State, the Commission cannot change the membership to allow another member to be added, as suggested by the EDC. It was further stated the Rail Commission no longer intends to receive direct financial support from EDC. The letter also stated the Rail Commission does not intend to be accountable to EDC or any other group, however board members indicated they will “cooperate and collaborate” with the EDC to bring more railserved industrial projects to central Carroll County. Annual report, 2018 budget

The 2017 Annual Report prepared by Casserly was approved. The group began 2017 with $10,094.03. Revenue total was $2,500, which is one-half the amount EDC agreed to provide to the group for the year. Total expenses for the year were $626 and the current balance is $12,269.03. However, two additional expenses for 2017 were approved at the meeting, which impacted the balance for the beginning of 2018.

The Rail Commission’s proposed 2018 budget total is $5,000 for expenses. Priorities for the coming year include supporting U.S. Rail to enhance service through the rail corridor, pursue other industrial development projects, which includes supporting the two GEP projects on Meridian Rd. and work with INDOT to extend SR75 to the Hoosier Heartland Highway. The group also plans to support the Flora Main Street Depot Committee and the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce for the Flora Depot Restoration Projects. Other business

The 2017 officers will continue to serve in the same capacities in 2018. Wagner is the president and Albaugh is the vice president. Leahy is the secretary and the group’s finance officer is Casserly.

The next meeting will be April 9 at 3 p.m. in the Flora Town building.

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