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20 ILCS 2705/2705-435

    (20 ILCS 2705/2705-435) (was 20 ILCS 2705/49.25g-1)
    Sec. 2705-435. Loans, grants, or contracts to rehabilitate, improve, or construct rail facilities; State Rail Freight Loan Repayment Fund. In addition to the powers under Section 105-430, the Department shall have the power to enter into agreements to loan or grant State funds to any railroad, unit of local government, rail user, or owner or lessee of a railroad right of way to rehabilitate, improve, or construct rail facilities.
    For each project proposed for funding under this Section the Department shall, to the extent possible, give preference to cost effective projects that facilitate continuation of existing rail freight service. In the exercise of its powers under this Section, the Department shall coordinate its program with the industrial retention and attraction programs of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. No funds provided under this Section shall be expended for the acquisition of a right of way or for operating subsidies. The costs of a project funded under this Section shall be apportioned in accordance with the agreement of the parties for the project. Projects are eligible for a loan or grant under this Section only when the Department determines that the transportation, economic, and public benefits associated with a project are greater than the capital costs of that project incurred by all parties to the agreement and that the project would not have occurred without its participation. In addition, a project to be eligible for assistance under this Section must be included in a State plan for rail transportation and local rail service prepared by the Department. The Department may also expend State funds for professional engineering services to conduct feasibility studies of projects proposed for funding under this Section, to estimate the costs and material requirements for those projects, to provide for the design of those projects, including plans and specifications, and to conduct investigations to ensure compliance with the project agreements.
    The Department, acting through the Department of Central Management Services, shall also have the power to let contracts for the purchase of railroad materials and supplies. The Department shall also have the power to let contracts for the rehabilitation, improvement, or construction of rail facilities. Any such contract shall be let, after due public advertisement, to the lowest responsible bidder or bidders, upon terms and conditions to be fixed by the Department. With regard to rehabilitation, improvement, or construction contracts, the Department shall also require the successful bidder or bidders to furnish good and sufficient bonds to ensure proper and prompt completion of the work in accordance with the provisions of the contracts.
    In the case of an agreement under which State funds are loaned under this Section, the agreement shall provide the terms and conditions of repayment. The agreement shall provide for the security that the Department shall determine to protect the State's interest. The funds may be loaned with or without interest. Loaned funds that are repaid to the Department shall be deposited in a special fund in the State treasury to be known as the State Rail Freight Loan Repayment Fund. In the case of repaid funds deposited in the State Rail Freight Loan Repayment Fund, the Department shall, subject to appropriation, have the reuse of those funds and the interest accrued thereon, which shall also be deposited by the State Treasurer in the Fund, as the State share in other eligible projects under this Section. However, no expenditures from the State Rail Freight Loan Repayment Fund for those projects shall at any time exceed the total sum of funds repaid and deposited in the State Rail Freight Loan Repayment Fund and interest earned by investment by the State Treasurer which the State Treasurer shall have deposited in that Fund.
    For the purposes of promoting efficient rail freight service, the Department may also provide technical assistance to railroads, units of local government or rail users, or owners or lessees of railroad rights-of-way.
    The Department shall take whatever actions are necessary or appropriate to protect the State's interest in the event of bankruptcy, default, foreclosure, or noncompliance with the terms and conditions of financial assistance or participation provided hereunder, including the power to sell, dispose, lease, or rent, upon terms and conditions determined by the Secretary to be appropriate, real or personal property that the Department may receive as a result thereof.
    The Department is authorized to make reasonable rules and regulations consistent with law necessary to carry out the provisions of this Section.
(Source: P.A. 94-793, eff. 5-19-06; 94-807, eff. 5-26-06.)