REMSA Member Stella-Jones Hosts Congressman James Comer
FULTON, KY - Today, Congressman James Comer (R-Kentucky) joined the Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA) and its member Stella-Jones for a tour of their rail tie facility in Fulton, Kentucky, where they have 70 employees and process more than one million rail ties every year. Congressman Comer met with Stella-Jones employees and representatives of the railroad industry to discuss the importance of the rail supply industry and the short line tax credit. REMSA and the National Railroad Construction & Maintenance Association (NRC) coordinated the event.
Congressman James Comer examines Stella-Jones' operation in Fulton, Kentucky
Stella-Jones is a leading manufacturer of pressure treated wood products and plays a key role in the development, upgrade and maintenance of North America's railroad infrastructure, supplying the continent's demand for railway ties and timbers with over 12 million pressure-treated wooden crossties per year. With more than 2,000 employees and 40 facilities strategically located across the United States and Canada, Stella-Jones has the treating capacity, sources of supply and purchasing power to meet the needs of Class 1, Short Line railroads and commercial operators from coast to coast. Their extensive supplier network of over 1,200 hardwood sawmills allows them to offer crossties and switch ties in a variety of sizes.
Congressman Comer with Stella-Jones Plant Manager Andy Pane
Congressman James Comer was first elected to Congress in 2016 and is a member of the House Agriculture, Oversight and Reform, and Education and Labor Committees. As an advocate for rebuilding our nation's infrastructure and implementing business-friendly policies, Congressman Comer has been a key supporter of the short line tax credit and is a cosponsor of the BRACE Act, legislation that would make the tax credit permanent. Before his election to Congress, Comer was Kentucky's Commissioner of Agriculture and served for six terms as a member of the Kentucky State House.
"I'm proud to support rail and its related industries and am encouraged by the work being done by Stella-Jones here in Fulton County and throughout western Kentucky," said Congressman James Comer. "Businesses in this industry provide stable, high-quality manufacturing jobs that support the regional economy. For these reasons I am proud to be a co-sponsor of the BRACE Act (H.R. 510), legislation that will aid the rail industry in reinvesting in maintenance of their railways and spur further economic development across the 1st District of Kentucky and the country."
Congressman James Comer with representatives from Stella-Jones, REMSA, NRC, ASLRRA, and Canadian National Railway
Attendees thanked the Congressman for his co-sponsorship of H.R.510, the Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy (BRACE) Act. The BRACE Act would make the short line tax credit permanent and allow the nation's small, local freight railroads to increase investment into their rail infrastructure and better serve their customers throughout rural and small-town America. The tax credit has helped small railroads invest more than $4 billion in capital infrastructure improvements since it was enacted in 2005.
"The short line railroad tax credit allows short lines to invest more of their own capital in rail improvements and maintenance to provide ever-safer and more robust service capabilities for their customers," said Chuck Baker, President of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA). "ASLRRA thanks Representative Comer for his support of Stella-Jones and other key businesses in Kentucky that support the rail industry and the entire national economy."
Congressman Comer inside the Stella-Jones rail tie inspection room
In Kentucky, 12 freight railroads operate and maintain over 2,625 miles of track, employing more than 3,210 people.