The Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Executive Committee on Wednesday voted to move forward on negotiations with a potential operator for a long-delayed rail transload facility project. The committee selected Paul Cownie as the preferred investor and developer. Cownie, who has experience in the oil and gas industry, is working with Gabe Claypool, who also has experience in that industry and has been involved in operating other rail transload sites. Claypool is currently president and chief operating officer of Enerstream Water Solutions, an Oklahoma company that provides services for oil fields in Oklahoma. Cownie was recommended to the board by Des Moines City Council Member Joe Gatto, a member of the MPO Executive Committee. As an alternate choice, the MPO staff recommended a Texas company, Alliance Construction Specialties. Both companies have the financial capacity to develop and operate the proposed facility, MPO Principal Planner Zach Young told the committee. The proposed transload facility, located east of downtown Des Moines at 200 S.E. 15th St., would provide shippers with new options for shipping raw materials and other goods in and out of Central Iowa.