Gov. Jay Nixon will be in Washington Monday for a twofold purpose — to officially open the new rail team track and to discuss Medicaid.
The official opening of the team track at the end of West Main Street will begin at 11:15 a.m. Mayor Sandy Lucy will introduce the governor.
At 12:15 p.m. the governor will be at Mercy Hospital Washington to discuss the Medicaid program under ObamaCare and how it will impact Missouri.
The team track was a $4 million project. More than $2 million was allocated through the state of Missouri and another $1 million came from the federal Economic Development Administration (EDA). The city’s share was $1 million.
Tanker railcars that had been parked on a siding on Front Street, at Olive Street, are now going to be unloaded at the team track. Cars already are at that location. Two industies have indicated that they expect to utilize the team track. Darren Lamb, the city’s economic development director, said industries in this area have been informed that the team track now is available for use.
Union Pacific Railroad has cooperated in the construction of the team track, and plans to use some of the space there for storage.
Gov. Nixon has been crusading for support in utilizing the federal funds through the expansion of the Medicaid program. He views the expansion as an important economic development program, bringing millions of new dollars to the state. He has received wide endorsements, including from a number of Chambers of Commerce across the state. The Washington Area Chamber has endorsed the program.
ObamaCare, officially known as the Affordable Care Act, has as its goal to expand health care insurance under the present Medicaid program. Hospitals support the plan since it will mean additional payments for care given, and reduce the number of those who can’t afford to pay their bills because they have no insurance.