Produce railcar pool — Departmental authority.
In addition to powers otherwise granted by law, the department may establish a Washington Produce Railcar Pool to promote viable, cost-effective rail service for Washington produce, including but not limited to apples, onions, pears, and potatoes, both processed and fresh.
To the extent that funds are appropriated, the department may:
(1) Operate the Washington Produce Railcar Pool program while working in close coordination with the department of agriculture, interested commodity commissions, port districts, and other interested parties;
(2) For the purposes of this program:
(a) Purchase or lease new or used refrigerated railcars;
(b) Accept donated refrigerated railcars; and
(c) Refurbish and remodel the railcars;
(3) Hire, in consultation with affected stakeholders, including but not limited to short line railroads, commodity commissions, and port districts, a transportation management firm to perform the function outlined in RCW 47.76.440; and
(4) Contribute the efforts of a short line rail-financing expert to find funding for the project to help interested short line railroads in this state to accomplish the necessary operating arrangements once the railcars are ready for service.
[2003 c 191 § 3.]