(AUGUSTA, ME) - Senator Paul Davis (R-Sangerville) along with Representatives Sharon Libby Jones, Steve Stanley and Chris Hall met with Governor Angus King yesterday regarding the future of the financially troubled Bangor and Aroostook Railroad (BAR) and the continuation of CDAC line. The rail was recently placed into receivership and existence of the BAR as an operating line is uncertain. Governor King expressed his support in working towards a plan that maintains the line as viable infrastructure in Maine.
"Securing a buyer for the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad and making sure that the CDAC line continues to operate in Maine is a top priority for me as the Legislature reconvenes in January," Senator Davis stated. "Governor King indicated his strong support in ensuring that rail transportation stay intact. As he pointed out, removing the rail would be like taking out a piece of the Maine Turnpike. It is not an option that can be considered."
Tuesday's meeting also included representatives on behalf of Senator Collins and Senator Snowe, Greenville and Milo town managers, union representation, Great Northern Paper management, and the Piscataquis County Development Council Executive Director. All in attendance agreed that feasible options must be considered to help preserve and improve the rail, including securing funding from state and federal sources.
"In talking with customers who currently use the rail, they know that a viable, reliable rail system is critical to the future of their businesses," Senator Davis stated. "The efficient operation of the rail benefits companies that use the rail and people that they employ. The BAR provides good paying jobs. We must do what we can to preserve these jobs."
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