"Rail district goal to be advocate for railroads" by: Mike Reddell

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
District Judge Craig Estlinbaum, far right, swears in members of the Matagorda County Rural Rail Transportation District board Monday, Sept 9. The board present, not all members were there, includes, from left: Tony Wood, Fred Gaytan, Mike Ferdinand, County Judge Nate McDonald and Tim Powell.

   Officers were chosen and broad strokes of the mission were pained at the inaugural meeting of the reconstituted Matagorda County Rural Rail Transportation District (MCRRTD) Monday, Sept. 9.
   “The district has been around for some time and it’s also been inactive for some time,” said Mike Ferdinand, executive director of Matagorda County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC).
   STP President and CEO Tim Powell was elected president of the group that will advocate for rail projects in Matagorda County.
   Elected vice president was Jessica Russell, Bay City Community Development Corporation executive director, while Ferdinand asked to be the secretary.
   Ferdinand, who guided the board through its initial organizational meeting, said he wanted the secretary’s job because former MCEDC executive director Owen Bludeau was secretary when the rail district last met several years ago.
   Other board members present at the meeting were: County Judge Nate McDonald, representing the commissioners court and MCEDC; Fred Gaytan, Oxea’s vice president of operations – North America; and Tony Wood, lyondellbasell site manager. 
   Russell, who just had a baby, was connected by a conference call.
   Three board members were not able to make Monday’s meeting because of scheduling, Ferdinand said.
   They were: BCCDC President Julie Estlinbaum, Palacios EDC President Robert Van Borssum and Celanese representative Matthew McCall.
   District Judge Craig Estlinbaum swore in the new members of the state-chartered rail district.
   “The district’s goal is to preserve railroads as a viable industry in Matagorda County and to assist with rail-related projects in the county,” Ferdinand said.
   The first such project will come when a site consultant group will present its plans and seek a tax abatement for a project in Matagorda County to an upcoming commissioners court meeting, Ferdinand said.
   “When it’s presented to the court, we’ll send summaries” to board members, he said.

To read more, please log in or subscribe to our digital edition. 

Rate this article: 
No votes yet