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BDC officials continue rail spur discussions

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MASSENA - BDC Executive Director Thomas Sullivan says talks with CSX regarding a proposed rail spur in their industrial park are progressing, and the BDC hopes to have a more clear picture of how to move forward in one month’s time.

The rail spur would connect Curran Renewable Energy to the existing rail track owned by CSX that runs in the vicinity of the Massena Industrial Park.

“These talks have been ongoing with CSX. We’ve had lots of discussions, lots of phone calls, emails, and conference calls, and we’re hoping that by the end of February we will have a good, clear direction on where that’s all headed,” Mr. Sullivan said.

“Things seem to be proceeding well. ... It’s just going to be within the month, month and a half before we find out where (CSX) is and what the cost is going to be and we can’t proceed on anything until then,” board member Paul Rufa added.

The project will be paid for through a combination of grants from the state and federal governments.

“I think it’s moving forward, and I think it’s going to be a doable and done project by the end of 2014. (The grants) expire on Dec. 31, 2014 and as far as the bridge one goes, the reason we would be using the bridge one is (because) when CSX comes forward with the cost for putting in the switch, we have to pay for that in advance and we can’t go against the grant to ask for money until the work is completed,” Mr. Rufa said. “So the RVRDA has provided a bridge one that we can use for that purpose.”

The rail spur project contains two phases. The first phase involves connecting the railroad between the two locations, while the second one planned would loop around the park and connect to currently vacant properties in the park to help make them more marketable.

In the fall, former board President Daniel Pease said that Phase I had a $942,000 price tag, but with already received grants and anticipated funding the BDC needed only $106,000. That money as been provided by the town through casino gaming funds.

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