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The Iowa Department of Transportation is accepting applications until June 17 for recipients of $3 million in financial assistance to be allocated through the state's Railroad Revolving Loan and Grant Program for 2013. Railroads, industries, local governments or economic development agencies are eligible to apply.The program provides grants and loans for rail facility improvements that will create jobs, spur economic activity and improve rail transportation in Iowa. The program is funded through appropriations from the state Legislature and loan repayments from past rail development projects.Funding is provided in three categories:
• "Targeted Job Creation," covering rail projects that provide immediate, direct job opportunities. Grant requests require a 50 percent local contribution and loan requests require a 20 percent local match.• "Rail Network Improvement," involving rail projects that support existing rail lines and service. Only loans are available and require a 20 percent local contribution.• "Rail Port Planning and Development," a first-time category through which grants are available for rail port planning and development studies.
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