Although the CCIDA still needs to raise $407,000 to pay for the construction project, Schumer noted that this EDA approval is a huge step in the right direction for economic development in the Southern Tier. In September, Schumer called on the EDA to expedite funding for this vital rail project that sought to repair lines in Chenango damaged by a historic 100-year flood. Now, the EDA notified Schumer and the Chenango County IDA that the agency was granting it a $4.7 million preliminary award, pending receipt of final supporting documents.
"Today's announcement puts us on the right track to move full steam ahead to revitalize the Utica Main Rail Line. Functioning rail lines make it easier and cheaper and cleaner, to move goods and materials, which create a fertile environment for job-creating businesses to take root and grow. This is exactly the kind of smart public infrastructure investment that can foster private sector job growth and economic revitalization. I was proud to advocate to the federal Economic Development Agency for the Chenango IDA and I will continue to work closely with local leaders to help in any way I can," said Schumer.
After the 2006 floods, service was suspended on more than 40 miles of track, making it impossible to send goods from Binghamton to Utica and cutting off access to important interchanges enabling goods to travel to farther locals by rail. The revitalization offers support to existing business and jobs and increases the viability of vacant industrial sites and brings potential job creation.