NRC Member Stella-Jones Hosts Congressman Ron Kind
Friday, October 19, 2018
by: Matt Bell
Section: 2018 NRC Grassroots Events
The NRC's grassroots program was created to invite United States Congressmen to visit NRC member facilities and construction project sites. These visits give the Members of Congress firsthand knowledge of the rail industry and demonstrate how rail contractors and suppliers are positively affecting the rail industry and the local and national economy. If your company is interested in hosting your Congressman for a visit, please contact Matt Bell at firstname.lastname@example.org to begin the process.
BANGOR, WI - On Friday, October 19th, National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) member company Stella-Jones Corporation hosted Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI-03) for a tour of their railroad tie plant in Bangor, WI.
"We are very excited that Rep Kind has taken the time to tour our facility in Bangor, WI," stated NRC Board member and Stella-Jones Vice President of Marketing George Caric. "Our Bangor facility has been a key supplier to the wood tie industry for many years. Treated wood crossties are a key component to the strength of the North American rail network. A strong rail network is key to supporting sustainable transportation throughout North America."
Stella-Jones is a leading North American manufacturer of pressure treated wood products with a network of 37 wood treating facilities spread across 16 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces. The company's core product categories, railway ties and utility poles, provide basic elements of the economy's physical infrastructure.
The Stella-Jones Bangor, WI treating facility is a key supplier of treated wood products for the railroad industry. The Bangor plant supplies crossties and switch ties to Canadian National (CN), Canadian Pacific (CP), the Montana Rail Link and several key contractors. The Bangor facility has the capacity of 1.5 million ties annually. These ties are supplied from roughly 200 sawmills throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan. In 2018 Capital expenditures at this plant will be just shy of $1 million. This Stella Jones facility employees roughly 70 employees.
"It was a privilege to tour Stella-Jones Corporation, where I saw firsthand the importance of supporting Wisconsin's manufacturers with pro-growth international trade partnerships and policies," said Congressman Ron Kind. "Wisconsin is home to a robust rail infrastructure system, which connects our businesses and farms with neighboring states and neighboring countries. It is important we continue to improve and expand our state's rail infrastructure and keep Wisconsin's economy moving forward."
Kind has represented Wisconsin in Congress since 1997 and is a senior member of the House Ways & Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over economic and trade policy and is the chief tax writing committee in the House. In addition to serving on the House Ways & Means Committee, Congressman Kind is also the former Chair of the centrist New Democrat Coalition, a caucus of 68 moderate House Democrats who are committed to pro-economic growth policies.
The Congressman participated in a brief policy discussion which highlighted the importance of not increasing truck size or truck weight limits at the federal level. Members of Stella-Jones also thanked the Congressman for his support as a co-sponsor on the Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy (BRACE) Act, which, if passed by Congress, will allow the nation's small, local freight railroads to increase their reinvestment for upgrades and expanding the "first and last mile" of transportation infrastructure.
"The short line railroad tax credit, which would be made permanent by the BRACE Act, is an essential piece of the economic puzzle, allowing short lines to invest more of their own capital in rail improvements and maintenance to provide ever-safer and more robust service capabilities for their customers," said Judy Petry, Chair of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA). "ASLRRA thanks Rep. Kind for his long-term support on this important issue."
The NRC and the Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA) coordinated the event.