Agronomy plant gets rail loan

Gov. Scott Walker has announced a $2,629,258 million Freight Railroad Infrastructure Improvement (FRIIP) loan for Country Visions Cooperative to construct almost 3,000 feet of railroad spur tracks and a railcar unloading system as part of a new $11 million dry fertilizer plant facility in Plymouth.

Country Visions Co-op is in the process of converting their dry fertilizer operations in several eastern Wisconsin locations to take advantage of the cost savings of shipping by rail. Dry fertilizers will be available to farms on a more timely basis for spring planting.

Wisconsin & Southern Railroad will serve this facility along the Plymouth to Sheboygan Falls railroad track which was recently entirely reconstructed with assistance from a Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) Freight Rail Preservation Program (FRPP) grant.

FRIIP, a revolving loan program used to improve rail infrastructure and construct new rail-served facilities, and FRPP, a grant program that covers up to 80 percent of project costs to help preserve freight rail service or rehabilitate track on publicly-owned rail lines, are DOT’s two freight railroad assistance programs designed to increase the use of rail transportation and support economic development.

Since 1994, DOT has provided more than $128 million in FRIIP loans and $225 million in FRPP grants to help fund 167 infrastructure acquisition, rehabilitation and improvement projects statewide.

Wisconsin’s rail system consists of 10 freight railroads which operate more than 3,300 miles of track in the state. Each year, more than 200 million tons of cargo is moved by rail in Wisconsin.

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