60-11-120. Railroad and intermodal transportation facility loans -- authorization -- eligibility. (1) Money appropriated by the legislature for the purposes provided for in this section and pursuant to 60-11-115 must be used by the department, after deducting the necessary costs and expenses for administering this section, to provide loans for:
(a) the preservation and continued operation of railroad branch lines identified in 60-11-111; and
(b) the development, improvement, construction, purchase, maintenance, or rehabilitation of:
(i) intermodal transportation facilities except as prohibited by federal law;
(ii) branch lines or short lines;
(iv) light density railroad lines; and
(v) rolling stock, including rail cars.
(2) An owner or operator of a railroad identified in 60-11-111(2) is eligible for a loan under this section if the owner or operator:
(a) undertakes to repair, improve, or replace rail facilities to allow the continued operation of the railroad for local rail transportation service; and
(b) derives revenue from the continued operation of the railroad.
(3) A port authority created under Title 7, chapter 14, part 11, is eligible for a loan under this section if:
(a) the port authority is included in the state transportation planning process as described in 23 U.S.C. 135; and
(b) the purpose for which a loan is sought is integrally related to the railroad transportation system of the state.
(4) Applications for a loan must include:
(a) a financial statement;
(b) evidence of matching funds required pursuant to subsection (5);
(c) an operating or business plan that demonstrates the applicant's ability to repay the funds; and
(d) upon request of the department, an independent feasibility study.
(5) Pursuant to requirements of former 49 U.S.C. 1654, which is providing a portion of the funds under 60-11-115, rehabilitation projects must be matched with 30% in other funds and new construction projects must be matched with 50% in other funds. The transportation commission, provided for in 2-15-2502, shall establish matching fund requirements for other project categories.
(6) The transportation commission is responsible for determining funding recipients. Recipients must be determined using the guidelines provided in 60-2-110.
(7) The department shall administer the Montana Essential Freight Rail Act with input from the department of commerce, the department of agriculture, and the governor's office.
(8) Funding recipients shall pay the standard prevailing wage on any construction projects or subcontracted construction projects conducted with funds received under this section.
History: En. Sec. 5, Ch. 541, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 49, Ch. 422, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 496, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 602, L. 2005.