With an influx of new jobs and businesses coming to town, Rocky Mount Economic Development continued on a huge upswing last week with the announcement that Rocky Mount has been selected as the location for an all new $272 million CSX rail-to-truck terminal project that will bring about 900 jobs to the area and another 1,500 state wide.
Announced on July 19 in a press conference held next door to the Belmont Lake Preserve North Carolina golf community, at the Dunn Center by Governor Pat McCrory, was the news of the project’s financial awards that were unanimously approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee. These include $110 million from the N.C. Transportation Department in performance incentives, $4.3 million in Job Development Investment Grants, and $7.8 million in intermodal tax credits. Ensuring the huge spike in Rocky Mount Economic Development is the fact that for CSX to receive the above incentives, they must invest $160 million into the Rocky Mount facility by 2024, meet all local hiring goals and keep 876 jobs that are already in the state.
CSX CEO, Michael Ward spoke on the selection of Rocky Mount for the 500 acre terminal, which will transfer freight containers that hold a variety of consumer goods between trains and trucks by electric cranes before being sent to their drop off destination. Ward noted that the ideal location, the growing industrial market in Rocky Mount, and its existing CSX rail operations all weighed into the project that will be a huge boost to Rocky Mount Economic Development.
Leonard Wiggins, the Chairman of the Edgecombe County Board of Commissioners spoke on several topics that residents may have been wondering about following the CSX announcement, as he had recently toured a similar facility in Ohio. “We stood right under this massive crane and you couldn’t hear it operate,” he offered up clearing the air for any residents who may have worries about any noise disturbances. Wiggins went on to remind residents that the terminal will also bring Rocky Mount back to its roots. “This is a railroad community,” he said. “ Railroad lines in Rocky Mount date back as far as 1840.”
This latest project in Rocky Mount Economic Development, the terminal, will be known as “The Carolina Connector” will also bring more public benefits and economic output for both the Rocky Mount community and the surrounding area. The Carolina’s Gateway Partnership noted that more than $310 million in public benefits and upwards of $125 million in statewide economic output. Gateway Partnership CEO, Norris Tolleson spoke to the huge effect this will have on the Rocky Mount Economic Development and the surrounding municipalities, stating, “This is the beginning of a new era of quality jobs in the Twin Counties.
The terminal is set to open for business in 2020 and CSX will host two open house events for the public to find out more and ask any questions they may have about the project. These will be held on Wednesday, July 27 at 6-8 pm at the Edgecombe County Administrative Building in Downtown Tarboro and on Thursday, July 28 in the Brown Auditorium at Nash Community College in Rocky Mount from 6-8 pm.
(Photo Credit: Nate Beal)