Congressman Ron Estes joins REMSA member Budde Enterprises and local railroad for tour and policy discussion
On November 17, 2017, Congressman Ron Estes (R-KS-4), joined representatives from Budde Enterprises Inc., and the Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad for a tour and public policy discussion at Budde’s long held Newton facility. The Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA) coordinated the event. Fourteen REMSA members maintain operations in Kansas.
Budde Enterprises traces its humble Newton roots to 1965, when owner Bill Budde bought a local farm. Today, Budde has grown to be a leading supply, repair, and custom fabrication shop primarily serving the agricultural and transportation industries. A certified Department of Transportation compliant facility, Budde Enterprises handles a wide variety of rail related repair and fabrication work including hy-rail vehicles and on track equipment. A family owned and operated business, Budde proudly employs 30.
The tour was led by Erin Mosiman, Administration Executive. The group toured a new expansion to Budde’s facility, designed to improve efficiency and accommodate a recent merger. Services shown included roadway gang equipment repairs and trailer up fits.
Also in attendance were Carrie Budde, Owner, Budde Enterprises; Casey Harbour Commercial Manager, Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad; Rusty Krehbiel, General Manager, Budde Enterprises; Davonna Moore, Assistant Bureau Chief, Transportation Planning, Kansas Department of Transportation; Jennifer Mueller, Retention & Expansion Manager, Harvey County Economic Development; Beth Shelton, Executive Director, Harvey County Economic Development and; Sean Winkler, Director of Advocacy, REMSA.
“It was a privilege hosting Congressman Estes, the Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad, and our state and local partners today,” said Mosiman. “Our family and company has been focused on a single mission since beginning in Newton: providing high quality services and supporting our employees and community. Smart federal policies that encourage investments in our rail network and infrastructure support jobs here in Newton and across our state. We were pleased to the share the importance of rail to our state and community with the Congressman.”
“We appreciate Congressman Estes’s time and Budde Enterprises’ hospitality, which allowed us to talk about how critical our country’s freight railroad industry is to jobs and the economy,” said Harbour.
Congressman Ron Estes was elected to serve Kansas’ 4th Congressional District in April 2017. Rep. Estes serves on the House Homeland Security Committee and the House Education and the Workforce Committee, where he advocates for Kansas’ manufacturing and business communities.
“A strong transportation network is crucial to the wellbeing of our diverse manufacturing base around Wichita and for Kansas’ world class agriculture products,” said Rep. Estes. “I greatly appreciate the opportunity to meet today to talk through policies that will help foster economic growth in Kansas.”
The group discussed the private nature of America’s freight railroad network which, unlike other modes of freight transportation, does not rely on federal support for the expansion or maintenance of its network. Additionally, the group advocated for support of the Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy Act (BRACE). The BRACE act will allow the nation’s small, local freight railroads to increase their reinvestments to upgrade and expand the “first and last mile” of transportation infrastructure, benefitting Kansas shippers that depend on affordable freight access.
In Kansas, 13 freight railroads operate over 4,700 miles of track and employ nearly 5,500.
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