Friday, December 23, 2016

Intermodal Seeks Solution to Railroad Agreement

A great amount of time was spent discussing the need to finalize an agreement with the railroad company relating to a crossing being constructed within the Southeast Arkansas Intermodal Authority Park, during the December 21, 2016 meeting of the Intermodal Authority Board. The matter has been on the table for several months and some board members seemed frustrated that progress seems to be slow and difficult to complete.  There were several ideas voice on how to proceed.  Monticello City Attorney Whit Barton has been asked to work out an agreement with the railroad and Anita McDaniels urged the board to be patience and indicated it would likely be into 2017 before anything gets accomplished.

There was a question raised about the lack of insurance coverage on the newly constructed elevated water tank in the park.  The board voted to seek bids for insurance.

While discussing the financial report, the members voted to authorize the executive  committee to plan to visit with the city councils of Monticello and Warren and the quorum courts of Bradley and Drew counties to educate them on what has been constructed in the intermodal park and to encourage them to pay, what the intermodal lists as money owed to the authority.  According to the December, 2016 financial statement, the counties and cities owe the following amounts:
City of Monticello-$108,457.82
City of Warren-$109,805.36
Drew County-$156,900.53
Bradley County-$226,797.31
This adds up to $601,960.79.

The Intermodal has bills pending of over $100,000.00 and has a bank note of $359,147.19.

According to past information provided by the two cities and two counties, none have agreed to pay the amounts currently listed by the authority.  The two cities have stated they have budgeted payments to the authority on a one year basis.  When the original intermodal project began, the two cities and two counties agreed to provide matching funds to the authority for a specific grant construction contract and upon being billed paid as agreed.  No further agreements were approved, based upon information available, except for the funds budgeted by the cities of Warren and Monticello.  Information has not been secured on any amounts that have been paid by the counties over the past couple of years.

The intermodal board will meet again in January, 2017.  The meetings held during 2017 will be conducted in Warren at the BCEDC offices.  

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