>La Grande Observer | Union and Wallowa Counties' News Leader

Observer news NE Oregon Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Follow LaGrandeObserver.com

La Grande Observer print edition

view all La Grande Observer print publications »

The Observer Paper 11/26/14

The LaGrande Observer is now online in a Replica E-edition form and publishes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Current subscribers have full access to the E-edition.

View Paper

If you are not a current subscriber, subscribe today for immediate access.


Recent article comments

Powered by Disqus

Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow COUNTY NAMES RAIL DIRECTORS



By Alice Perry Linker

Observer Staff Writer

Although Marc Stauffer's work is just beginning, he's put in a lot of time to get to the starting gate.

The Elgin city councilor has spent hours researching and discussing railroad operations. Soon he'll get a chance to put some of his ideas on the table.

Stauffer, along with Union County resident Gene Hardy and Union County Commissioner Steve McClure, have been appointed to a two-county nine-member railroad authority.

Union and Wallowa counties have purchased the Idaho Northern and Pacific Railroad branch line from Elgin to Joseph. Idaho Northern began running a freight train from Elgin to Wallowa Monday and may later extend the operation to Joseph. After one year, the railroad company plans to turn operations over to the counties.

At that time, the authority must be prepared to make decisions as to whether the counties will manage the rail line or contract with a railroad operator.

"A lot of different ideas have come forward since we began this," Stauffer said. "Obviously we have the freight. We want to offer quality freight service for those who want to ship, whether it's wood products or farm-related products."

There has been interest expressed in shipping grain from Wallowa County by rail, he said.

Stauffer's research and other work has been with the "blessing of the (Elgin) city council," he said. "The saving of this line was on the list of the city's goals."

Talk throughout both counties has involved the operation of an excursion line, and Stauffer said he and others have studied the passenger excursion trains at Hood River, in New Mexico and in Lewistown, Mont.

"They've all been turning a profit," he said. "Most are three- or four-hour excursions. Each one does something a little different."

The railroad authority is expected to have its first meeting by the end of August, Commissioner McClure said. Union County must appoint one more member, and Wallowa County is expected to appoint its members later this month. The two counties will make one joint appointment.

McClure agrees with Stauffer that the authority has its work cut out for it. But he said there are other counties that run railroads, and he hopes to draw on their experience.

"I don't see any reason to reinvent the wheel," he said. "I'd like to invite people who have done this — such as Lake County — to talk to us."

The $6.5-million cost of the railroad was supported by a $2 million grant from the Oregon Legislature and a $4.5-million loan from the state Economic Development Department. The counties have been seeking federal funds to help repay the state loan.

"We need federal participation," McClure said. "It will be very hard to service that debt without it."


blog comments powered by Disqus
Local / Sports / Business / State / National / Obituaries / Public Notices
Editorials / Letters / Guest Columns / Columnists
Outdoors / Ag / Spiritual / Go Magazine / Portraits
View all classifieds / Jobs / Autos / Real Estate / Rentals / Place an Ad
The Observer
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Site Map
Also Online
Photo Reprints / Slideshows / Weather and Valley Cam / /index.php?option=com_rss&feed=RSS2.0&no_html=1">RSS Feed ?> RSS Feed

Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Twitter

© Copyright 2001 - 2014 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use

adobe contribute cs5 price discount windows xp buy 3ds max
price of autocad 2007 discount toast 10 discount microsoft word 2007 full
price of viagra in ireland 
cheap generic viagra uk 
tadalafil cost 
  • sildenafil 100mg cialis from certified pharmacy tadalafil manufacturers india
  • windows xp professional cheapest purchase windows xp cd key price of microsoft office 2010 home & student
    download photoshop cs3 for macintosh 
    cheap autodesk software cheap oem software 
    purchase outlook 2007 microsoft 
    microsoft office 2013 student discount download 
    buy photoshop elements for mac cheap microsoft office pro 2007 where is the cheapest place to buy microsoft office 2010