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01/08/2019 05B Council Partnership Committe ReportBUSINESS OF THE CITY COUNCIL YAKIMA, WASHINGTON AGENDA STATEM ENT 1 Item No. 5.B. For Meeting of: January 8, 2019 ITEM TITLE: Council Partnership Committee report SUBMITTED BY: Sonya Claar Tee, City Clerk SUMMARY EXPLANATION: The Council Partnership Committee met on December 21, 2018, and requests Council action on the following items: 1. Request from the Yakima Housing Authority for a letter of support for a $2.5 million capital budget proposal for the armory project in the 2019 session 2. Yakima Basin Integrated Plan Work Group update 3. RFP Committee process for the transitional housing project preliminary design 4. AWC City Action Days 5. Federal rail regulation issue ITEM BUDGETED: STRATEGIC PRIORITY: APPROVED FOR SUBMITTAL: City Manager STAFF RECOMMENDATION: BOARD/COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION: ATTACHMENTS: Description Upload Date O YHA riper basin 12/21/2018 O gorail 12231/2018 Type Cofer Memo Co4er Memo 2 December 12, 2018 Senator Representative Jeremie Dufault is pleased to provide this letter in support of a Capital Budget Appropriation of $2.5 million to the Housing Authority of the City of Yakima for the Veterans Housing and Services Center (VHSC) to be constructed in Yakima, Washington. The VHSC will convert the existing Yakima Marine Armory into 14 studio units for Homeless Veterans and 27 newly constructed, permanent affordable two- and three-bedroom units to serve homeless veteran families. The rehabbed Armory building will include a one-stop, 12,000 SF, supportive services facility for all homeless veterans in the community. YHA is partnering with Yakima Neighborhood Health, Blue Mountain Action Council and Yakima County Veterans Affairs to provide health and dental care, behavioral health, housing counseling, and case management. This $2.5 million appropriation is critical to fill an unmet need in our community for supportive affordable housing and services for homeless veterans. With the support of stakeholders and partners in the Yakima community, YHA successfully applied to obtain the property in 2017 as federally surplused property through the McKinney-Vento Act Title V Property Disposition program. The projecthas secured Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Housing Trust Fund, HOME funding from the City of Yakima, and funding from the Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Housing Program. YHA has Ieveraged every dollar available for funding of the Veterans Housing and Services Center and while 78% of the budget is fundeda gap still remains. An appropriation from the Capital Budget would ensure the successful build out of the social services space to provide crucial supportive services to residents and all homeless veterans in our community. There is currently no other resource in Yakima or the surrounding area that provides this level of comprehensive and coordinated services in a one-stop Iocation for homeless veterans seeking services. 3 Yakima Housing Authority Veterans Supportive Housing and Service Center Yakima Housing Authority's (YHA) Veteran Supportive Housing and Service Center project is the redevelopment of the former United States Marine Corp armory property on Tahoma Avenue in Yakima. The project will create: - 41 units of supportive housing for homeless veterans and their families - 12,000 SF of social service space targeted for homeless veterans in the community. The project will include the rehabilitation of the armory building as well as the new construction of townhome and multifamily housing units on site. The social services space will provide comprehensive services in one location for homeless veterans in the Yakima community. Yakima Neighborhood Health Services will operate a primary care clinic and additional social service office space will be occupied by Veterans Administration Supportive Housing (VASH) case managers and Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) case managers. This project addresses the need in Yakima for housing and services for homeless veterans in the community. The former armory building became available as federally surplused property with a priority for homeless use through the McKinney-Vento Act Title V Property Disposition program. With the support of stakeholders and partners in the Yakima community, YHA successfully applied to obtain the property in 2017. In 2018, YHA secured Low -Income Housing Tax Credits and State Housing Trust Fund funds for the housing portion of the project. However, there are limited resources available for the social services space portion of the project. This capital budget request is to fund these services spaces, which are crucial to the homeless veterans in Yakima and the success of the project. The project will leverage State Capital Budget funds with Low Income Housing Tax Credits, City of Yakima, and Federal Home Loan Bank funds, as well as the land donation by the Federal Department of Health and Human Services. These funds total $11,850,000, or 73% of the total development cost. Uses Sources Land 1,100,000 Low Income Housing Tax Credits 9,000,000 Hard Costs 12,350,000 State Housing Trust Fund 2,000,000 Development Costs 1,850,000 Deferred Developer Fee 600,000 Other Soft Costs 1,750,000 City of Yakima 1,000,000 Federal Home Loan Bank 750,000 Total Uses 17,050,000 HHS Acquisition (Donation) 1,200,000 State Capital Budget Funds 2,500,000 Total Sources 17,050,000 Urban Diberliari KiMias h'echumaiori Dismira Commissioner Cory liVrigIn Klithas County Commissioner Mike Lena Yakima County Wendy McDermott Amcricap ,RiTers Lisa Pclly Tong Urilioliter! Phil Rigdon Kikania Nation Scott_ Revell Roza loakation Distthl November 30, 2018 The Honorable Jay Inslee Office of the Governor PO Box 40002 Olympia, WA 98504-0002 Dear Governor Inslee: This River Runs Forever Yakima Basin Integrated Plan 4 Thank you for your ongoing leadership and support for the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan (Integrated Plan). As you develop your budget proposal, we respectfully request that you include $42.1 million for the Integrated Plan as proposed by the Washington State Department of Ecology. This request would fund projects important to the continued success of the Integrated Plan, including significant construction components of Cle Elum Fish Passage, along with numerous projects implementing the other six elements of the Integrated Plan. As you know, the Integrated Plan was developed by a diverse group of stakeholders including farmers, irrigation districts, city and county governments, thc Yakama Nation, conservation organizations, and state and federal agencies. Our collaboration remains strong and committed to fulfilling our shared goals. The Integrated Plan calls for substantial water storage improvements for both instream and out -of -stream uses, will protect and enhance fish and wildlife habitat, provides increased operational flexibility to meet ecological objectives, and improves the reliability of irrigation, municipal, and domestic water supplies in the basin. Implementing the Integrated Plan over the next 25 years is imperative to Washington State's economy and environment. Thank you for your dedication to the Integrated Plan. We greatly appreciate your continued partnership. Governor Inslee November 30, 2018 Page 2 of 2 Sincerely, Urban Eberhart Kittitas Reclamation District Lisa Pelly Trout Unlimited Cory Wright Kittitas County Phil Rigdon Yakama Nation American Rivers cott *evell Roza Irrigation Distric 5 cc: Maia Bellon, Director, Department of Ecology Tom Tebb, Director of Office of Columbia River, Department of Ecology Sen. Christine Rolfes, 23rd Legislative District, Senate Ways & Means Committee Chair Sen. David Frockt, 46th Legislative District, Senate Ways & Means Committee Vice Chair Sen. John Braun, 20th Legislative District, Senate Ways & Means Committee Ranking Member Sen, Jim Honeyford, 15th Legislative District, Senate Ways & Means Committee Asst. Ranking Member Rep. Steve Tharinger, 24th Legislative District, House Capital Budget Committee Chair Rep. Richard DeBolt, 20th Legislative District, House Capital Budget Committee Ranking Member "Restoring the natural health and economy in the Yakima Basin." 6 Moore, Cliff From: Nate Kaplan <nkaplan@gorail.org> Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2018 4:25 PM To: Mendez, Carmen; Moore, Cliff; Cortez, Ana Subject: GoRai|Follow Up Attachments: STBK4u|tiSignerLetteLa\|signem.pdf;Ba|ancpdRegu|ation|ssuePaper.pdf Council Member Mendez, Cliff, and Ana: It was a real pleasure meeting each of you this morning. And thank you for letting me share some insight on what the freight rail industry is focused on for 2019, and explain the serious challenges faced ifthe US Surface Transportation Board (STB) decides to re -regulate freight railroad routes and rates, aka Forced Access. To recap, Congress has objected to Forced Access several times in the past because it is known that this regulatory overreach will hinder freight rail's economic growth and efficiency in turn harming the logistics chain and freight mobility in Washington and across the country. Nearly 600 organizations and elected officials across the country have written or signed -on to letters to Congress opposing Forced Access, and we would love to have the City of Yakima's support since a vote by the 5 -member STB Commission will likely occur early next year. Here's more background on the policy: O. Here is a Iink to Forced Access; and m GoRail's president O. Ashortyideo from Association of American Railroads explaining the policy's operational impacts O. Link to the actual legal rule-making notice in the federal register (Published in August, 2016):v/016-17980/petitimn-fopru|emaking- uu-mmue-revued-cmm-rules-itcmmg. n. Group letter we sent last year opposing Forced Access with approximately 500 signers from across the country — about 100 additional Ietters have been sent since (attached) O. Balanced Regulation 1 -pager (attached) As discussed, I prepared the attached draft letters for your consideration opposing Forced Access addressed to Washington's congressional delegation (and CC'ing our two senators Senator Patty Murray, 154 Russell SOB, Washington DC 20510; Senator Maria Cantwell 511 Hart SOB, Washington DC 20510). Please feel free to edit these letters however you'd like, but 1 thought this would be a good start. Please always let me know if there's anything I can do to help you and the City now or in the future. I'll be connecting you with BNSF on a separate email regarding the at -grade crossing. Thanks again! Nate p.s — Follow us @GoRail for fun and accurate info about transportation and infrastructure! Nate Kaplan West Coast State Director GORAIL 1 November 16, 2017 The Tlonorable John 'Thune Chairman, Committee on Commerce, Science and 'Transportation United States Senate Washington, DC 20510 The 1tonorable Bill Nelson Ranking Member, Committee on Co United State Senate Washington, DC 20510 erce, Science and Transportation The Honorable Bill Shuster Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure United States IIouse of Representatives Washington, DC 20515 The Honorable Peter DeFazio Ranking Member, Committee on'1'ransportation and Infrastructure United States Ilouse of Representatives Washington, DC 20515 7 425 3rd St SW, Ste 940 Washington, DC 20024 202.9011.3230 . porail.orp Dear Chairman Thune, Ranking Member Nelson, Chairman Shuster and Ranking Member DeFazio: The U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) continues to consider new regulations on freight railroads that stand to harm our economy, consumers and thousands of farms, factories, mines and other businesses that rely 011 freight rail. The proposed regulations represent a dramatic step backward from the balanced regulatory system that is working today by providing a regulatory benefit to some shippers at the expense of the efficiency of the entire network. 'These new regulations would undermine the ability of railroads to reinvest capital in the rail network thus imperiling local rail service for most shippers and communities. At a time when the nation is looking to leverage private investment in infrastructure more than ever and is counting on efficient and safe transportation to facilitate economic growth, Congress should ensure that regulators leave railroads free to invest and innovate to better serve customers and the nation. We represent communities and companies across the country that know well the public benefits of private freight rail investment. Freight railroads are the only transportation mode that pays for its own infrastructure with almost no government support. This saves taxpayers money while also keeping freight off already crowded and underfunded highway infrastructure. And, every ton of freight moving by rail rather than by highway means less fuel was consumed for the move and fewer pollutants were emitted. Most importantly, the massive private investments made by freight railroads connect local farms, companies and mines to markets across the country and world. In 2014 alone, private railroad investments generated $274 billion in economic activity and supported 1.5 million jobs nationwide. This mean jobs for our companies and a powerful catalyst for economic development in our communities, Contrary to the assertions of interest groups promoting these unnecessary new federal regulations, the proposals would be extremely damaging to rail -served communities and businesses, The proposed new regulations would force railroads to open their privately -owned networks to competitors by turning over traffic to other railroads, potentially at below-market rates and without any showing of competitive abuse. The proposals undermine existing free market competition and replace it with a regulatory scheme that runs directly counter to the balanced and effective regulatory framework set by Congress in the Sta. iers Rail Act of 1980, which ushered in a freight rail renaissance in America. This is a classic case of regulatory overreach. Congress did not ask the STB to take any of these steps when it reauthorized the Board in 2015 and, in fact, these proposals have been previously rejected by Congress 16 times, and for good reason. They would limit railroads' ability to earn enough capital to reinvest in their networks, making the national freight rail system less efficient, less safe and less productive. At a time when the country is considering massive infrastructure investments to spur economic growth, freight railroads provide a shining example of the power of private investment. We need to support freight railroads' ability to invest to continue to relieve pressure on the highway system and to support the still -recovering economy. In that context, these actions by the STB make no sense. Please preserve the existing smart, balanced regulatory system that protects shippers while allowing railroads to invest. Sincerely, Monroe Jones President Birmingham Rail & Loco. Co., Inc. (AL) Corbett Bennington Director of Planning City of Anniston (AL) Allen Blythe President Ferrovia Services, LLC (AL) Knox Kershaw CEO Knox Kershaw, inc. (AL) 2 Billy Ainsworth President & CEO Progress Rail (AL) Josh Curtis Governmental Affairs Director Arkansas Association of Counties Johnathan Dismang Senator Arkansas General Assembly Michelle Gray Represenative Arkansas General Assembly 8 9 Prior to 1980, the nation's rail infrastructure was crumbling. Today, U.S. freight railroads are the most efficient and productive in the world. Just 35 years ago, however, railroads were on the brink of collapse because outdated and overly stringent government regulation had crippled their ability to operate effectively and profitably. • More than 20 percent of the country's railroad miles were operated by railroads in bankruptcy. • Rail rates were rising faster than inflation, and the rail market share for freight shriveled cis more and more shippers turned to trucks. The Staggers Act created smart, balanced regulations. In 1980, Congress passed the Staggers Rciil Act, creating a balanced regulatory system that still exists today. Shippers are protected against unreasonable railroad conduct while railroads can largely decide for themselves how to manage their assets and price their services, • Improved profitability has allowed freight railroads to pour $600 billion of their own funds back into their systems to create a network that is second to none in the world. • Average inflation-adjusted rail rates are down 43 percent since 1980, saving rail customers, and ultimately U.S. consumers, hundreds of billions of dollars over this period. • Railroads are safer; the train accident rate in 2014 was the lowest in history and down 80 percent since Staggers was passed. • Overall industry productivity was flat for many years prior to Staggers, but is up 139 percent since then. • Hundreds of short line and regional railroads formed since Staggers, preserving rail service and rail jobs that otherwise would have been lost. U.S. FREIGHT RAILROAD PERFORMANCE SINCE STAGGERS 300 275 250 225 200 175 150 125 100 75 50 25 0 Staggers Act Passed Oct 1980 '64 '67 70 74 '76 "62 "86 '90 '94 '98 '02 '06 90 '14 GORA Twitter: @gorail facebook.com/gorail linkedin.com/company/gorail ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS 10 November 13, 2018 Dear Newly Elected Members of Congress: Congratulations on your recent election to Congress: As you transition from campaigning to governing, the nation's private freight railroad industry - the linchpin of our integrated national infrastructure system - wants to provide key facts surrounding our business and outline some key policy positions. Congress will examine the nation's infrastructure next year, including through surface t sportation ret uthorization, needed by the end of fiscal year 2020. Freight railroads, which provide safe and efficient transportation for nearly every industrial, wholesale, retail, and resourec-based sector of the economy, are central to this discussion. We playa crucial role in maintaining Amer t .: s' duality of lifer moving the fertilizers used to grow crops, cars that move workers and families, materials to build homes and businesses, and chemicals used to purify drinking water. In 2017 alone, the sector generated roughly $219 billion m economic activity while supporting 1.1 million jobs. Our industry is fueled by private investment, averaging $27 billion in recent years, We stand in stark contrast to publicly funded infrastructure systems such as highways, which face a backlog of $740 billion in repairs, or the infrastructure crises plaguing our country's transit systems. "acts about the freight it industry; which operates on a 140,000 -mile network it owns and maintains: Safe: Based on federal data for 2017 across key measures - including train accident rate arid mploy .e safety - recent years have: been the safest in the industry's nearly 200 -year history. l asl year marked the lowest rate of track -caused accidents ever, while the overall train accident rate is down 2 since 2008, The industry transports critical ha: dons materials -- including plastics, fertilizers, and other chemicals - to their destination without release due to accident 99.999% of the tine. All the while, railroads train 20,000 first responders annually and make the AskR mobile application available to first responders and law enforcement officials who need to access information on rail contents traversing their territory. Future -foga ga d: Private freight carriers ar irnpld renting Positive y ° rot (PTC), vvnich will help step a train before certain types of human -caused accidents occur. A lao t of innovations, such a um -named drones arid a nationwide network of wayside detectors using technology like radar and ultrasound, allow railroads to evaluate infrastructure conditions and inspect equipment with greater precision and frequency. Technologies increasingly enable the industry to identify problems before they arise, ultimately improving the safety and efficiency of the rail system. • l2crrnnirrically clEical. One job in the rail' sector supports eight others rosy the economy, as the the ed to essential job creators logistics, warchot ng, farming, and manufacturing - igh reliable anti affordable transportationn. Adjusted= for in .tion, average O.S, freight ,rail rates were 46% lower in 2017 than in 1981. on rr el rtlly ° ierdly The most sustainable way to move goods on land, a freight train moves a freight 479 milcs on one gallon of fuel on average. Moving goods by rail instead of truck reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 75%. 11 Trade enabler: Global commerce is tied to 42% of rail traffic and 50,000 domestic rail jobs, worth $5.5 billion in annual wages and benefits. Railroads haul roughly 33% of U.S. exports, allowing U.S. industries to compete abroad. Together with trucks and barges, freight trains help move an average 54 tons of goods per American each year. Committed to its workforce: In 2017, private freight railroads employed roughly 170,000 people — 82% of which are unionized — earning $125,400 per year on average in total compensation. Through collective bargaining, the industry works with labor to forge healthcare, retirement, and compensation packages ranked in the top 5% of U.S. industries. Policy recoinmeridations: Sensible economic regulation: Congress partially deregulated the private freight railroad industry in 1980 after years of discord, allowing the industry more freedom to make routing and pricing decisions dictated by market conditions. Strong gains in private investment have followed, correlating with marked improvements in safety, service, and competitive rail rates. The Surface Transportation Board (STB), the independent agency with oversight of rail economic dealings granted by Congress — including mediation and adjudication with rail shippers — remains critical in ensuring the health and viability of the freight rail network. The STB must maintain the current regulatory framework, which balances the needs of both railroads and shippers, and not implement wholcsalc changes that would compromise the ability of railroads to earn the revenue needed to reinvest in the network and meet customer demand. Congress, which reauthorized thc STB in 2015 and avoided major policy changes in doing so, should maintain proper oversight to ensure its critical directive is not circumvented. User -funded infrastructure: Commercial trucking is the biggest customer of the private freight rail industry and its biggcst competitor. Ample research shows large trucks fail to pay for the damage they inflict on roads, bridges, and highways. This underpayment puts the rail sector — which fully covers its costs, reduces emissions, and lessens traffic — at a competitive disadvantage, but also contributes significantly to the insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund, which has required $143 billion in general taxpayer funds in the last 10 years. Federal infrastructure policy should remedy this fundamental imbalance by ensuring users of infrastructure pay for their use, which could be done through a host of mechanisms, such as a Vehicles Miles Traveled (VMT) fee. This could be applied to commercial vehicles to account for distance traveled and the weight of freight -carrying trucks. Pro -innovation policy: Freight railroads increasingly test and deploy new technologies to bolster safety and efficiency. Ideal oversight in this area should be federal to avoid a patchwork of statc directives — thus hindering interstate commerce — and should position railroads on equal footing with their transportation peers. Regulations from the U.S. Department of Transportation and laws from Congress should favor technological improvements and center on demonstrated outcomes — such as improving safety in a specific area. Lawmakers should avoid one -size -fits -all policies that hinder modernization destined to improve safety, including policies that mandate specific operating models. We thank you for your time and consideration and look forward to future discussions. Sincerely, Ian Jefferies Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and incoming Association American of Railroads 2 2019) President and CEO ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS Miles Operated In Washington in 2017 Class I Railroads BNSF Railway Company Union Pacific Railroad Co. Regional Railroads Montana Rail Link Local Railroads Cascade & Columbia River Railroad Central Washington Railroad Company Columbia & Cowlitz Railway Columbia and Walla Walla Railway Columbia Basin Railroad Company, Inc. Eastern Washington Gateway Railroad Eastside Community Rail, LLC GNP Rly, Inc Great Northwest Railroad, LLC. Kettle Falls International Railway LLC Palouse River & Coulee City Railroad, LLC. Pend Oreille Valley Railroad Portland Vancouver Junction Railroad Puget Sound & Pacific Railroad Co. Tacoma Rail Mountain Division Washington & Idaho Railway, Inc. Washington Royal Line 1,454 533 1,987 15 15 145 60 19 37 88 116 14 14 85 133 226 61 14 289 93 88 26 Distributed at the, Meeting Freight Railroads in Washington Washington 2017 Totals Class I Regional Local Switching & Terminal Total Miles Operated Number Excluding Including of Freight Trackage Trackage Railroads Rights Rights 2 1 19 8 1,607 0 1,341 84 x,032 1,987 15 1,549 107 3.658m Miles Operated In Washington in 2017 Local Railroads, cont. Westem Washington Railroad, LLC Yakima Central Railway Switching & Terminal Railroads Ballard Terminal Railroad Kennewick Terminal Railroad Longview Switching Co. Meeker Southem Railroad Mount Vernon Terminal Railway Olympia & Belmore Railroad, Inc. Tacoma Rail Tri -City Railroad Company 19 22 1,549 3 1 17 5 1 13 47 20 107 BNSF CN CP CSX KCS NS UP Short Line/Regional Multiple Owners Map is based on the 2018 National Transportation Atlas Database published by the U. S. DOT, Bureau of Transportation Class 1 Railroad: A railroad with 2017 operating revenues of at least $447 6 million. Regional Railroad: A non -Class Iline-haul railroad that has annual revenues of at least $40 million, or that operates at least 350 miles of road and revenues of at least $20 million. Local Railroad: A railroad which is neither a Class I nor a Regional Railroad, and which is engaged primarily in line -haul service Switching & Terminal Railroad: A non -Class I railroad engaged primarily in switching and/or terminal services for other railroads © 1993-2018, Association of American Railroads For more information about railroads, visit www aarorg. Dec 2018 (A)ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS Freight Railroads in Washington Rail Fast Facts For 2017 Operations Number of freight railroads Freight railroad mileage Employment Number of freight rail employees and Earnings Average wages & benefits per freight rail employee Railroad Retirement Economic Impact Fuel Efficiency Cutting Highway Gridlock Number of railroad retirement beneficiaries Railroad retirement benefits paid 30 3,032 4,381 $127,770 10,196 $228 million Nationwide, in 2017, major U.S. railroads supported approximatly 1.1 million jobs (about eightjobs for every railroad job), nearly $219.5 bililon in annual economic activity, $71 billion in wages and almost $26 bililon in tax revenues. In 2017, America's railroads moved a ton of freight an average of 479 miles on one gallon of fuel. That's like going from Seattle to Boise, ID. On average, railroads are four times more fuel efficient than trucks. Moving freight by rail instead of truck reduces greenhouse gas emissions by on average 75 percent. One train can carry as much freight as several hundred trucks. It would have taken approximately 6.5 million additional trucks to handle the 117.2 million tons of freight that originated in, terminated in, or moved through Washington by rail in 2017. Rail Traffic Originateel in 2017 Total Tons: 20.7 million Total Carloads: 787 200 Lumber, Wood Products 12% Intermodat 48% (Percentages based on tonnage Petroleum 7% s Farm Products 7% Pulp and Paper 6% Commodity Tons Carloads Intermodal 9,882000 651.700 Lumber, Wood Products 2,469,000 26,400 Petroleum 1.520.000 17.100 Farm Products 1.420000 14,000 Pulp and Paper 1.178.000 12.800 Other 4,206,000 65,100 Source: AAR Analysis of STB Waybills Rail Traffic Terminatedin 2017 Total Tons. 66 7 million Total Carloads: 1,105,600 Intermodal 12% p ratm Products 52% (Percentages based on tonnage) troleum, Gas 8% Food Products 6% Chemicals 5% Commodity Farm Products Intermodal Petroleum, Gas Food Products Chemicals Other Tons Carloads 34,572,000 309,200 8,290,000 519,300 5.272.000 57.100 3,386.000 41.000 3.363.000 35.700 Source: AAR Analysis of STB Waybills11,181,000 143,300 0 1993-2018, Association of American Railroads For more information about railroads, vait www aar org Dec 2018 January 15, 2019 The Honorable Maria Cantwell 511 Hart SOB Washington, DC 20510 Dear Senator Cantwell, We would like to convey our concerns about federal government actions that could undercut private sector investment in the freight rail industry. These include the Surface Transportation Board's (STB) proposed regulations known as "forced access," which would undermine the resilience of our state and regional economy by diminishing the strength of the rail industry. It is critically important that businesses have reliable and uninterrupted access to efficient freight transportation to ensure our products are able to compete nationally and internationally. The proposed regulations would require railroads to provide competitors with access to their private rail lines, compromising the efficiency of the national rail system by slowing the overall movement of goods in Washington and across the nation. This policy is a dramatic step backwards from today's sound regulatory system, which protects a nationwide freight rail network that businesses rely on to meet customer requirements. Forced access regulations would likely jumpstart a chain reaction in the network that constricts business activity by slowing the movement of goods in our state and across the country. This is not only detrimental for the U.S. railroad network, but is also unfair to the businesses, small and large, that form the backbone of the American economy. When those businesses suffer, so do the local communities that surround them. The affordable and reliable movement of goods is important for our region as well as the entire state. Washington's economy is twice as dependent on exports than the national average. It is worth noting that unlike other transportation modes, freight railroads pay their own way and operate a self-sufficient private network that reduces the burden on our roads and bridges by removing several hundred truckloads from our congested highways with each train trip. I urge you to carefully monitor the potentially disruptive proposed regulations under consideration at the STB and the impact they would have on businesses in the Yakima Valley and across the nation. Thank you for your attention to this matter. Sincerely, January 15, 2019 The Honorable Patty Murray 154 Russell SOB Washington, DC 20510 Dear Senator Murray, We would like to convey our concerns about federal government actions that could undercut private sector investment in the freight rail industry. These include the Surface Transportation Board's (STB) proposed regulations known as "forced access," which would undermine the resilience of our state and regional economy by diminishing the strength of the rail industry. It is critically important that businesses have reliable and uninterrupted access to efficient freight transportation to ensure our products are able to compete nationally and internationally. The proposed regulations would require railroads to provide competitors with access to their private rail lines, compromising the efficiency of the national rail system by slowing the overall movement of goods in Washington and across the nation. This policy is a dramatic step backwards from today's sound regulatory system, which protects a nationwide freight rail network that businesses rely on to meet customer requirements. Forced access regulations would likely jumpstart a chain reaction in the network that constricts business activity by slowing the movement of goods in our state and across the country. This is not only detrimental for the U.S. railroad network, but is also unfair to the businesses, small and large, that form the backbone of the American economy. When those businesses suffer, so do the local communities that surround them. The affordable and reliable movement of goods is important for our region as well as the entire state. Washington's economy is twice as dependent on exports than the national average. It is worth noting that unlike other transportation modes, freight railroads pay their own way and operate a self-sufficient private network that reduces the burden on our roads and bridges by removing several hundred truckloads from our congested highways with each train trip. I urge you to carefully monitor the potentially disruptive proposed regulations under consideration at the STB and the impact they would have on businesses in the Yakima Valley and across the nation. Thank you for your attention to this matter. Sincerely, January 15, 2019 The Honorable Dan Newhouse 1318 Longworth HOB Washington, DC 20515 Dear Representative Newhouse, We would like to convey our concerns about federal government actions that could undercut private sector investment in the freight rail industry. These include the Surface Transportation Board's (STB) proposed regulations known as "forced access," which would undermine the resilience of our state and regional economy by diminishing the strength of the rail industry. It is critically important that businesses have reliable and uninterrupted access to efficient freight transportation to ensure our products are able to compete nationally and internationally. The proposed regulations would require railroads to provide competitors with access to their private rail lines, compromising the efficiency of the national rail system by slowing the overall movement of goods in Washington and across the nation. This policy is a dramatic step backwards from today's sound regulatory system, which protects a nationwide freight rail network that businesses rely on to meet customer requirements. Forced access regulations would likely jumpstart a chain reaction in the network that constricts business activity by slowing the movement of goods in our state and across the country. This is not only detrimental for the U.S. railroad network, but is also unfair to the businesses, small and large, that form the backbone of the American economy. When those businesses suffer, so do the local communities that surround them. The affordable and reliable movement of goods is important for our region as well as the entire state. Washington's economy is twice as dependent on exports than the national average. It is worth noting that unlike other transportation modes, freight railroads pay their own way and operate a self-sufficient private network that reduces the burden on our roads and bridges by removing several hundred truckloads from our congested highways with each train trip. I urge you to carefully monitor the potentially disruptive proposed regulations under consideration at the STB and the impact they would have on businesses in the Yakima Valley and across the nation. Thank you for your attention to this matter. Sincerely, A RESOLUTION By the Yakima City Council of the State of Washington WHEREAS, businesses and communities across Washington have a long history of utilizing the private freight rail network to bolster our state's economy; and WHEREAS, a well-maintained transportation infrastructure system is critical to meeting the needs of our city and the state's residents and businesses; and WHEREAS, unlike other modes of transportation, freight railroads operate almost exclusively on infrastructure they own, build, maintain and pay for themselves, saving taxpayers billions of dollars each year; and WHEREAS, encouraging private investments in infrastructure provides for the long-term viability of Washington's business community; and WHEREAS, businesses large and small rely on swift, predictable shipping options to meet their customers' needs and compete on a global level; and WHEREAS, The U.S Surface Transportation Board's proposed "forced access" regulations could undermine the resilience of our regional and state economy by diminishing the strength of the rail industry and slowing down the movement of goods and passengers; and WHEREAS, we urge our leaders in Congress to monitor and oppose policies under consideration by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board that disrupt the free flow of goods and constrict the railroad's ability to reinvest in the private rail network; and BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF YAKIMA: The City Council and Mayor oppose proposed federal forced access regulations and any other measure that would undercut private sector investment in the freight rail network. ADOPTED BY THE CITY COUNCIL this 15th day of January, 2019. ATTEST: Kathy Coffey, Mayor Sonya Claar Tee, City Clerk