Farmers who serve as voluntary board members on the Illinois Corn Growers Association and Illinois Corn Marketing Board toured the Olmsted Locks and Dam project on the Ohio River today. River transportation infrastructure improvements remain a primary goal of both state corn organizations.
President Barack Obama's Budget, set to be released on February 6, should include the cost over-run number for Olmsted Lock and Dam. As well, it is expected that the budget will contain the Administration’s proposal for a new user fee aimed at raising $1 billion for the Inland Waterways Trust Fund over the next 10 years, and an expansion of the fuel-taxed waterways.
Waterways Council, Inc., of which ICGA is a member, has suggested a different plan and expects it to be introduced on the House floor in coming weeks. With corn checkoff dollars, the ICMB has supported the development of educational materials that Waterways Council is using to shed light on the tremendous need to improve our waterways.
Remember, the Panama Canal will open its third shipping lane in 2014, adding a new "axis of transportation" in the world. Is the U.S. ready to participate in this new era of shipping? IL Corn says "no" and that's why the Boards are here today, learning the newest information regarding this issue.