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OABA Board Member Tom Zitter Appointed to Ohio Rail Development Commission

Thomas Zitter was appointed by Governor John Kasich to the Ohio Rail Development Commission for a six-year term. Tom is an Ohio AgriBusiness Association Board of Directors member and owns Big K Mills in Fort Recovery, Ohio.

“I’m looking forward to serving on the Ohio Rail Development Commission,” Tom said. “I represent the general public on the commission and am particularly interested in improving rail service on the short line, as well as improving railroad crossing safety.”

The Ohio Rail Development Commission's mission is to plan, promote and implement the improved movement of goods and people faster and safer on a rail transportation network connecting Ohio to the nation and the world. The mission is to be accomplished through a coordinated freight and passenger rail system which is an integral part of a seamless, intermodal transportation network contributing to Ohio's quality of life and economic development.

The Commission is made up of 15 members, including four non-voting members from the Ohio General Assembly. Seven commissioners are appointed by the governor and one each by the President of the Ohio Senate and the Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives. The Directors of the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Department of Development serve as ex-officio members.

ORDC improves public safety by funding grade crossing safety improvements. ORDC provides grants, loans and other assistance to:

  • Perform a vital economic development function by assisting businesses locating or expanding in Ohio with rail spurs and other rail infrastructure;
  • Help rehabilitate light density branch lines on small short-line and regional railroads;
  • Assist in the acquisition and continued operation of branch lines;
  • Address special rail problems such as mainline congestion and assisting businesses with rail-related issues; and
  • Assist with promotion of the rail-related tourism industry.

The ORDC was created in 1994 under Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4981. Click here to learn more about the ORDC.