By NIKKI YOUNK
FLORENCE, Wis. - Florence County officials are urging local businesses to respond to a rail market study survey that will help determine the need for rail service in northern Wisconsin.
Railroad user and potential railroad user surveys will be mailed to businesses in mid-November.
Surveys will collect data regarding commodity, shipping mode, location, and destination. There will also be a place to add suggestions and comments.
Businesses must return the surveys by mail or online by the end of November.
Any business that does not receive a survey and would like to participate should contact Wendy Gehlhoff, director of Florence County Economic Development, at (715) 528-3294 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Now is the time for our businesses to have a voice as to whether rail is a viable shipping option for our region in the future," said Gehlhoff.
Earlier this year, Florence County joined with eight other northern Wisconsin counties to form the Northwoods Rail Transit Commission, which believes that rail service is crucial to maintaining and supporting future economic growth in the region.
"In order to quantify rail business demand, the commission has been working with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to develop a rail market study to gather current and potential rail use data from our region's business community," Gehlhoff explained. "The data from this survey will be shared with rail operators in our region in order to pursue options for more reliable, cost effective, and secure rail service for businesses in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan border counties."
Nikki Younk's e-mail address is email@example.com.