Vice chairman of Transportation Commission seeks answers on rail facility

Greg Smith, Malheur County economic development director, shows members of the Oregon Transportation Commission a document regarding a proposed rail reload center north of Nyssa last week. (Mark Ylen, Mid-Valley Media).

During last week’s meeting of the Oregon Transportation Commission, Malheur County officials faced questions about the unexpected cost of leasing rail cars to serve the onion industry. Here is the transcript of an exchange between the vice chair of the commission and Greg Smith, Malheur County’s economic development director. The reference to return-on-investment turns on the state’s expectation that each dollar of state money invested in a rail project will return $1 dollar in benefit to the public.

Robert Van Brocklin: One is around return on investment. So I think what I read was that the . . .