Businesses and Community Benefit from LIFTS Infrastructure Project Grant
Federal funding may soon help expand rail access to a section of the City of Garner, Iowa, to include the Zinpro Corporation Manufacturing Facility
GARNER, Iowa, July 26, 2018 – The city of Garner, its businesses and community may soon benefit from grant money to expand rail freight access. Earlier this month, the Iowa Transportation Commission approved more than $2.5 million in federal grant dollars to be used for five transportation infrastructure projects under the Linking Iowa’s Freight Transportation System (LIFTS) program, and the Garner Industry Track proposal was one of the approved projects, pending Federal Highway Administration authorization.
“Zinpro Corporation and our employees are very excited and grateful for this grant approval that could soon make it possible for our company, and others, to have access to a rail freight line,” says Bill Scrimgeour, president and CEO, Zinpro Corporation. “Our manufacturing facility in Garner has been producing valuable animal nutrition products since December 1992, relying on trucking alone to bring in ingredients and ship out finished products. Having rail access will enable us to have a safer, less expensive and more sustainable option to bring in and ship out materials.”
The City of Garner is also pleased with this encouraging development. “Zinpro has been a positive, stable, people- and community-focused employer since its establishment here,” says Randy Lansing, city administrator, Garner, Iowa. “Zinpro continues to grow and provide greater employment for our community, and this rail line access will help accommodate their growth as well as appeal to other businesses that might decide to locate here because of this development.”
Lansing points out that the expansion is still dependent on Zinpro and Iowa Northern being able to obtain the necessary land and keep all costs comparable with what was assumed in the grant application. This grant will only cover a portion of the total cost to expand rail access to this location, and Zinpro will still be required to spend a considerable amount of its own money on equipment and infrastructure to bring this project to complete fruition.
Similar LIFTS program grants in other communities have proven a viable return on investment, says Amy Homan, director, Iowa Northern Railway. “Freight rail access has been shown to reduce wear and tear on roadways, increase road safety and provide solid economic benefits to cities and communities that invest in adequate freight rail infrastructure,” she says. “Freight rail access helps cities and communities both to attract future companies and allows current companies to grow and reinvest in their local communities.”
Homan adds that the Iowa Northern Railway Company appreciates the continued efforts of the City of Garner, Hancock County Economic Development and Zinpro Corporation “in pushing the Garner Industry Track one step closer to becoming a reality. The communities of Garner and Hancock County continue to show their support of Iowa Northern, and we are excited to be a part of their growth. This project is a classic example of how bringing the public and private sectors together can benefit the entire community.”
As the industry leader in trace mineral nutrition for livestock, poultry and aquaculture, Zinpro is committed to delivering the people, products and educational tools needed to help customers improve the performance and profitability of their operations.