ADMINISTRATION OF TRANSPORTATION LAWS
Railroads and Other Common Carriers
228:66-a Rehabilitating Class III Railroads and Cog Railroads; Revolving Loan Fund; Bonds Authorized.
I. There is established in the office of the state treasurer a fund to be known as the class III railroad and cog railroad capital rail line rehabilitation and equipment revolving loan fund which shall be kept separate and distinct from all other funds. Moneys in the fund shall be nonlapsing and shall be continually appropriated to the bureau of rail and transit, department of transportation, and shall be spent on rehabilitating the rail lines and the purchasing of equipment of class III railroads and cog railroads, which rail lines, equipment, and railroads shall meet the requirements of the benefit/cost analysis prepared by the department of transportation's bureau of rail and transit. Loans provided to operators of class III railroads and cog railroads for rehabilitating the rail lines and equipment purchases shall be approved by the governor and council.
II. The operator of the class III railroad or cog railroad provided a loan under this section shall be required to furnish assurance by signed agreement with the state to continue utilization of the line involved on an annual basis at a tonnage level of at least 80 percent of their annual tonnage average over the 3 years preceding the agreement, provided that enforcement of such assurance shall be preceded by a finding by the commissioner that any shipping rate increases during such period are reasonable, or a continued utilization of the line involved on an annual basis at a passenger level of at least 80 percent of their prior 3 years preceding the agreement.
III. The operator of the class III railroad or cog railroad shall repay any loan funded pursuant to paragraph I on such terms and conditions as are recommended by the bureau of rail and transit, department of transportation. The term of the loan shall be no less than 5 and no longer than 20 years and shall, to the extent possible and consistent with this section, be determined so as to match the useful life of the improvements funded by the loan. The terms and conditions shall be contained in the binding agreement between the state and the operator of the class III railroad or cog railroad and shall be sufficient to fully reimburse the state for the principal and interest payments on that portion of the bonds authorized to fund the loan. All money received through reimbursement shall be deposited by the state treasurer in the class III railroad and cog railroad capital rail line rehabilitation and equipment revolving loan fund.
IV. A lien on the property and equipment of the class III railroad or cog railroad including the improved property or equipment shall be created in favor of the state in an amount which equals the sum of principal and interest to be repaid by the operator of the class III railroad or cog railroad. The lien shall be recorded in the registry of deeds of the county or counties in which the improved property is situated and shall not supersede any pre-existing lien created by a mortgage affecting such property. The lien shall expire only when the loan has been fully repaid.
V. To provide funds for the revolving loan fund established pursuant to this section, the state treasurer, as may be requested from time to time by the bureau of rail and transit, department of transportation, is authorized to borrow from time to time upon the credit of the state such amounts so that the total state obligation shall at no time exceed $4,000,000 and for said purposes may issue bonds and notes at such time in the name and on behalf of the state of New Hampshire in accordance with the provisions of RSA 6-A. The department shall request and the treasurer shall issue bonds only for such amounts from time to time as are required for the purposes of this section and provided that the principal and interest payments can be satisfied from existing sums in the fund established in paragraph I.
VI. The payments of principal and interest on the bonds issued under paragraph V shall be made when due from the special fund established by paragraph I.
VII. For the purpose of this section, a "class III railroad" shall be a freight railroad or an intrastate passenger excursion railroad.
Source. 1997, 310:3, eff. July 1, 1997.