Thursday, November 7, 2013


A group of rural business leaders and community officials has urged Governor Mark Dayton to recognize the importance of TC&W freight rail service to rural Minnesota as he works with the Metropolitan Council to evaluate various proposals for routing the Southwest Light Rail Transitway (SLRT).

The group of 36 rural shippers, mayors, county commissioners and economic development officials signed an October 17 letter to the Governor, requesting that he "encourage SLRT planners and decision-makers to recognize the statewide implications of the project, and consider the impact of their freight rail decisions on rural Minnesota as well as the communities of the metro area."

"There has been very little discussion of the statewide impact of SLRT as it relates to the indispensable freight rail service that keeps our rural economies vibrant and growing," the signers wrote, noting that the businesses served by TC&W sell more than $4 billion worth of goods to markets in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and overseas, employing more than 2,660 people with an annual payroll of over $111 million.

The letter was signed by:

  • Scott Nagel, President, ADM, Minneapolis, MN
  • Joseph  Berning, Board Chair, Big Stone County  Board of Commissioners, Ortonville, MN 
  • Larry Serbus, President, Bird Island Bean Company, Bird Island, MN
  • Duane Anderson, President/CEO, Central Bi Products, Redwood Falls, MN
  • Deb Lingl, City Administrator, City of Bird Island, Bird Island, MN 
  • Joyce Nyhus, Mayor, City of Buffalo Lake, Buffalo Lake, MN 
  • Carl Colwell,  Mayor, City of Morton, Morton, MN
  • Dan Coughlin, City Administrator, City of Olivia, Olivia, MN 
  • Suzanne Hilgert, Mayor, City of Olivia, Olivia, MN
  • Ron Schlimme, General Manager, Clinton Farmers Elevator, Clinton, MN 
  • Sandy Gillespie, Grain Merchandiser, Clinton Farmers Elevator, Clinton, MN 
  • Craig Hebrink, President/CEO, Co-op Country Farmer's Elevator, Renville, MN 
  • Tom Otto, Plant Manager, Dairy Farmers of America, Winthrop, MN
  • Rodney Winter, General Manager, Equity Elevator Trading Company, Wood Lake, MN 
  • Scott Dubbelde, General Manager, Farmers Co-op Elevator, Hanley Falls, MN
  • Ben Hedtke, Grain Merchandiser, Farmers Co-op Elevator, Hanley Falls, MN
  • Glen Moe, General Manager, Farmers Union Co-op Oil Company, Montevideo, MN 
  • Tom Traen, General Manager, Glacial Plains Cooperative, Murdock, MN
  • Eric Baukol, Risk Manager, Granite Falls Energy, Granite Falls, MN 
  • Guy Mann, Chairman, Grant County Commissioners, Milbank, SD
  • Scott Blumhoefer, Vice President, Heartland Corn Products, Winthrop, MN 
  • Rob Everist, President, L.G. Everist, Inc., Sioux Falls, SD
  • Dale Carlson, President, Lyman Lumber Company, Excelsior, MN
  • Peter Valentin, Grain Merchandiser, Meadowland Farmers Coop, Lamberton, MN 
  • Bob Zelenka, Executive Director, Minnesota Grain & Feed Association, Eagan, MN 
  • Jane Remiger, Chair, Minnesota Valley Regional Rail Coalition, Wood Lake, MN 
  • Marvin Garbe, President, Montevideo Economic Dev. Authority, Montevideo, MN 
  • Julie Rath, Economic Dev. Spec., Redwood Area Dev. Corp., Redwood Falls, MN
  • Christina Hettig, Exec. Director, Renville Housing & Economic Development, Olivia, MN 
  • Jason Wojahn, Director of Logistics, RPMG, Shakopee, MN
  • Harold Pettis, Board Representative, Sibley County Commissioners, Gaylord, MN 
  • Gene Lutteke, General Manager, South Central Grain & Energy, Fairfax, MN 
  • Chuck Steffi, President, Step Saver, Inc., Redwood Falls, MN
  • Jeff Nielson, General Manager, United Farmers Co-op, Winthrop, MN
  • Dean lssacson, President/Gen. Manager, Western Consolidated Elevator, Holloway, MN 
  • Paul Mattson, Manager, Western Consolidated Elevator, Holloway, MN

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