Monday, May 19, 2014

Erie Rail Terminal plan dies as funding is pulled

A plan to develop a new intermodal terminal that was to be served by CSX in Harborcreek Township, Erie County, Pa., has stalled following negative community reaction to the project.

 

On Monday, May 12, 2014, the Greater Erie Industrial Development Corporation (GEIDC) Executive Committee and the DevelopErie Joint Finance Committee voted unanimously to stop DevelopErie's proportional funding of the $60 million-Erie Rail Terminal. Full board approval is expected to follow at the next EDC and GEIDC meetings on June 26, 2014.

According to Economic Development Chairman, John Dill; "The Executive Committee is impressed by the accomplishments of the DevelopErie organization as it pertains to the rail component of the inland port project. The market study performed internally by DevelopErie was twice validated, investors were brought to the table and a customer and site was selected. We feel as a board that the organization has lined up the opportunity in light of its economic development mission.

This group continues to believe in the viability and economic potential for an intermodal project in the region. The project now stands at a crossroad, however, and the board must consider what the funding commitment will be going forward. DevelopErie has already spent a significant amount on the project. More financial commitments need be obtained at this time. With the negative feedback regarding the Harborcreek location, businesses are hesitant to provide vocal public support and prospective investors are standing still. In order for this project to be successful, we need support from business, elected officials and the general public."

Plans for the Erie Rail Terminal were announced in November 2013. Developers hoped the rail component of the terminal would generate jobs for the area and open the Erie region to global markets.

DevelopErie said it will continue to work on identifying potential economic growth projects. A new building in Knowledge Park, redevelopment of the 12th Street Lord facility and other aspects of the inland port initiative are just a few of the many endeavors underway. The organization also continues its efforts toward the successful establishment of KLN Snack Foods in Waterford.

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