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County gives $20K to Tri-County Railroad Authority

Financial assistance is chugging its way to Tri-County Railroad Authority.

The full Warren County Commission unanimously approved Monday night its first allocation of $20,000. Approved in 2019 was providing $80,000 to be spread out over four years. 

When the money was requested last year, Tri-County Railroad Authority executive director Patrick Conyers outlined the financial situation it was facing.

“Four years ago, the Tri-County Railroad Authority and all other short-line railroad authority’s funds were sequestered by the state of Tennessee due to a pending suit against the Tennessee Department of Revenue related to the Equity Trust Fund that was generated back in 1976 to fund and rehab abandoned railroads such as the one in Coffee, Warren and White counties,” said Conyers.

That money, approximately $5 million, has been released and funds are available to be used for railroad improvements. The authority needs a 10 percent cash match, approximately $500,000, and has reached out to those who would be negatively affected by the loss of the railroad – Warren, Coffee and White counties.

Warren County’s contribution will be combined with $80,000 from both Coffee and White counties for a total of $240,000. Tri-County Railroad Authority will contribute to $100,000, while the remaining $160,000 would be contributed by Caney Fork & Western Railroad.