U.S. Congressman Jim Jordan Tours Fritz-Rumer Cooke Co. Rail Project at Heritage Cooperative
Monday, November 2, 2015
by: By Lindsey Collins
Section: 2015 NRC Grassroots Events
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Marysville, OH– On October 30, U.S. Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH-04) joined National Railroad Construction & Maintenance Association (NRC) member – Fritz-Rumer Cooke Co., Inc. – for a tour of their track project at Heritage Cooperative.
Mr. Gordon Webster, Project Engineer at Fritz-Rumer Cooke Co., Inc.
Mr. Tom Willhelm, Project Engineer at Fritz-Rumer Cooke Co., Inc.
Mr. Ben Swope, Safety Officer at Fritz-Rumer Cooke Co., Inc.
Mr. Bud Lykins, Foreman at Fritz-Rumer Cooke Co., Inc.
Mr. Tyrone Robinson, Foreman at Fritz-Rumer Cooke Co., Inc.
Mr. Eric Parthemore, President & Chief Executive Officer at Heritage Cooperative
Mr. Dave McIntosh, Project Manager at Heritage Cooperative
Mr. Travis Rowe, VP Marketing & Sales at Heritage Cooperative
Mr. Steve Davis, Regional Development Manager at CSX Transportation
Mr. Roger Orben, VP State relations at CSX Transportation
Mr. Roger Crate, President at Crates Excavating
Mr. Ray Yonkura, Chief of Staff for Congressman Jordan
Ms. Barbara Taylor, Deputy District Director for Congressman Jordan
Ms. Lindsey Collins, VP of Grassroots Advocacy at NRC
Mr. Webster gave an overview of Fritz-Rumer Cooke and their current operations. Fritz-Rumer Cooke is a railroad and general contractor based in Columbus, OH. The company was established in 1879 and has been in continuous operation for over 135 years. In that time, Fritz-Rumer Cooke has never failed to complete a project. They specialize in track design, track construction, track repair, track inspection and related services. They are family owned and operated – the fifth generation of the Cooke family now manages the company. They serve customers throughout Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, and Illinois.
Mr. Webster led a tour of Fritz-Rumer Cooke’s project at Heritage Cooperative, a member-owned cooperative founded in 2009 which serves over 3,500 farmer members, and over 4,000 rural and urban customers. Fritz-Rumer Cooke designed and is currently constructing 11,457 feet of track to serve the new facility. The majority of the track consists of a 1.24-mile-long loop track to handle 90-car unit trains, and is one of only two such loop tracks in the state of Ohio at an agricultural complex. The track design avoided all wet lands on the project and includes a wye connection with CSX Transportation’s mainline. This type of connection allows trains to enter and exit the facility in either direction, reducing delays at any nearby road crossings.
Heritage Cooperative broke ground May 14, 2014 for the Ag Campus and Research Farm. This state-of-the-art facility is being built on a 277 acre plot and will include an express unit grain terminal; a 30,000 ton dry fertilizer warehouse; and a 10,000 ton liquid UAN (nitrogen fertilizer) storage with 24/7 distribution. All of these commodities can be shipped/received by rail at the site.
“I always say that the Fourth District grows things and makes things,” said the Congressman. “Fritz-Rumer Cooke has played a big part in that, serving as an employer and manufacturer in Ohio for over 100 years, and now employing folks in our district to continue improving and advancing the railroad industry. I’m proud of the work they are doing in Marysville, and look forward to seeing the project at its completion.”
Attendees discussed the importance of extending the 45G tax credit, which leverages private sector investment in rail infrastructure by providing a tax credit of 50 cents for every dollar spent on track improvements. The Short Line Railroad Rehabilitation and Investment Act of 2015, also known as H.R. 721, was introduced in February, and already has over 50 percent co-sponsorship in the House with 246 co-sponsors. H.R. 721 would extend section 45G of the tax code which expired at the end of last year.
Congressman Jordan serves on the House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, on which he serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs. He is serving as the first Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus. As one of the most conservative members of Congress, his efforts have earned him recognition from Citizens against Government Waste, Family Research Council, and as Americans for Tax Reform’s Friend of the Taxpayer. He was also the recipient of the 2012 Weyrich Award for “National Legislator of the Year.”