Railroads and Other Common Carriers

Section 228:66

    228:66 Rebuilding, Modernization and Maintenance of Rail Properties. –
The commissioner is authorized to contract for the rebuilding of any rail properties, either publicly or privately owned. The commissioner is further authorized to spend any sums appropriated for such purpose as well as any other available funds for the modernization and rebuilding of any rail properties. The commissioner is also authorized to do such maintenance on any rail properties as appears necessary in the public interest. All state or federal funds appropriated for privately owned rail lines shall be expended only if the following procedures and conditions are fulfilled and incorporated into binding agreements executed by and among the state, the owner of the affected rail line, and the shippers or users who utilize said lines and who participate in the performance of the following:
I. All state funds shall be matched by the owner, shipper, or user in cash, labor, or materials in an amount equal to 20 percent of the total amount provided. All federal funds shall be matched by the owner, shipper or user in cash, labor, or materials in an amount equal to the percentage established by the Federal Railroad Administration of the total amount provided for the particular project.
II. Shippers or users participating pursuant to paragraph I 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.
III. Shippers or users shall make commitments to use appropriate volume and usage levels on the line.
IV. The railroad operator and its successors and assigns shall make commitments to continue service and maintenance on the lines appropriate to the volume and usage levels committed under paragraph II and at the classification level to which the lines had been rehabilitated.
V. A lien on the improved property shall be created in favor of the state in an amount which equals all, or the pro rata share, of the improvements made. The lien shall expire 10 years from the date the improvements are completed; provided that 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 lien created by a mortgage affecting such property. The lien shall only expire if the line upon which the improvements have been made is operated and maintained for normal use for a period of 10 years subsequent to the completion of the improvements.

Source. 1981, 568:55. 1990, 200:3. 1993, 116:1, 2, eff. July 16, 1993.