NYSSA — Another detail the Malheur County Development Corporation has needed to secure the Oregon Transportation Commission’s approval of its reload center project is now in place with the expressed interest of a firm which leases rail cars to serve the center and shippers who utilize it.
In a letter to John Braese, with Malheur County Economic Development, Barbara A. Cataneo, with Cryo-Trans, Inc. said the company has more than 2,000 refrigerated and insulated rail cars on the market and that company officials are looking forward to discussing lease options later this year.
Braese said rail shippers more and more are being required to provide their own cars for hauling and it has been the concern of the Oregon Transportation Commission and the Oregon Department of Transportation about the availability of rail cars for shippers to haul product from the proposed Treasure Valley Reload Center, which is planned to be located north of Nyssa.
“As discussed, the TVRC would serve the agricultural community in the Treasure Valley area and our railcars would allow those growers to ship their perishable goods to market in a more economic and efficient manner,” Cataneo said in her letter. “We understand that Malheur County is working on a proposal whereby our cars would be leased either for or by the shipper’s to help with equipment access and availability in the Treasure Valley, Oregon market.”
The 2017 Legislature appropriated $26 million for the project which is part of the next ConnectOregon program which provides funding for improvements in transportation infrastructure. Plans for the Treasure Valley Reload Center, and those for two competing facilities in the Willamette Valley, have been going through an extensive review process, which has included ODOT committees and rail experts and an outside third party review.
Besides the rail car issue, the Transportation Commission was concerned the Development Corporation have a firmer commitment from the railroad to serve the reload center, which it has received, at least for onions. It has been the onion growers and shippers who pushed the reload center project.
It was originally planned, a decision of the three projects was to be issued earlier this spring, but the Transportation Commission decided to put off any approval until its June 20 meeting in Salem.
The Malheur County Development Corporation is the sponsor of the reload center project, with the Malheur County Economic Development Department staff taking the lead in planning and design stages of the project.
It is also in the process of arranging for a person or company to help with the final design of the reload center and oversee its operation.