(1) The Short Line Credit Premium Account is established as an account in the Oregon Transportation Infrastructure Fund. Moneys in the Short Line Credit Premium Account are continuously appropriated to the Department of Transportation for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this section.
(2) A short line railroad may apply to the Department of Transportation for infrastructure assistance in a manner determined by the department by rule.
(3) In evaluating applications for infrastructure assistance under this section, the department shall give priority to projects that:
(a) Enhance public safety;
(b) Enhance the environment;
(c) Appear creditworthy, providing financially secure sources of repayment to secure a federal credit instrument;
(d) Promote rural economic development;
(e) Reduce demand for expansion of highway capacity;
(f) Enable Oregon companies to be more competitive in regional, national and international markets;
(g) Preserve or enhance rail or intermodal service to small communities or rural areas; and
(h) Will be operated by a short line railroad with federal credit assistance under the RRIFP.
(4) If a short line railroad receives infrastructure assistance under this section for a project for which federal credit assistance was received under RRIFP, and if all or part of the credit premium is returned to the railroad by the federal government, the railroad shall remit to the department the amount of moneys returned to the railroad.
(5) All moneys remitted to the department under subsection (4) of this section shall be deposited by the department into the Short Line Credit Premium Account. [2001 c.942 §16]