Thursday, January 31, 2013

Governor's transportation plan receives widespread support, now Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods has endorsed “Virginia’s Road to the Future”, the comprehensive, long-term transportation funding plan proposed by Governor Bob McDonnell. Smithfield Foods employs approximately 4,000 citizens statewide and is the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer, processing 27 million hogs and raising 14 million annually.

President and Chief Executive Officer C. Larry Pope speaking on behalf of Smithfield Foods, Inc. said:
“Since 1936, the town of Smithfield, Virginia, and Smithfield Foods, has been shipping the finest hams to satisfied customers across the country. This has been made possible due to Virginia’s strong business environment and able workforce.

Smithfield has deep roots in the Commonwealth and is heavily reliant on its infrastructure.

“We rely on Virginia’s highways to move our products to market throughout Virginia and beyond.  Without a properly maintained highway system, as well as the dollars for new construction to ease congestion, our business is at a disadvantage to move our products in a timely, reliable and predictable manner.

“Governor McDonnell’s 2013 Transportation Funding and Reform Package is intended to solve the short and long-term transportation funding needs of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Declining funds for infrastructure investment, stagnant motor fuels tax revenues, increased demand for transit and passenger rail, and the growing cost of major infrastructure projects necessitate enhancing and restructuring the Commonwealth’s transportation program and the way it is funded. The challenge Virginia faces is a math problem.

"We applaud Governor McDonnell for introducing a bold and comprehensive plan, the time to act is now.”
Smithfield Foods joins numerous business, labor and transportation groups that have already announced their support of the governor’s plan. They are:

American Concrete Paving Association - Mid-Atlantic Chapter
· APM Terminals
· Associated General Contractors of Virginia
· Amtrak
· Apartment and Office Building Association
· Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division of Teamsters
· Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen
· CSX Transportation, Inc.
· DuPont
· Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce
· Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce
· Greater Richmond Technology Council
· Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance
· Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce
· Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce
· Hampton Roads Utility and Heavy Contractors Association
· Heavy Construction Contractors Association
· Home Builders Association of Virginia
· Lynchburg Regional Chamber of Commerce
· Luck Companies
· Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
· Norfolk Southern Corporation
· Northern Virginia Technology Council
· Old Dominion Highway Contractors Association
· Prince William Chamber of Commerce
· Richmond Area Municipal Contractors Association
· Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce
· Precast Concrete Association of Virginia
· Sheet Metal Air Rail and Transportation Union
· Universal Corporation
· Virginia Economic Developers Association
· Virginia Airport Operators Council (VAOC)
· Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce
· Virginia Asphalt Association
· Virginia Association of Counties
· Virginia Association of REALTORS
· Virginia Association of Roofing Professionals
· Virginia Association of Surveyors
· Virginia Automobile Dealers Association
· Virginia Aviation Business Association (VABA)
· Virginia Chamber of Commerce
· Virginia Business Council
· Virginians for High Speed Rail
· Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
· Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce
· Virginia Railroad Association
· Virginia Ready-Mixed Concrete Association
· Virginia Regional Transit
· Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance
· Washington Airports Task Force
· Wawa

Governor McDonnell’s plan will provide more than $3.1 billion in transportation funding for the Commonwealth over the next 5 years, including $1.8 billion for new construction. It will end the state’s crossover issue, in which money meant for construction is currently diverted to simple maintenance. The plan ties future transportation funding to economic growth and makes Virginia the first state in the nation to eliminate its gas tax, a rapidly declining revenue source. The full plan is availablehere.

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