Officials seek designer and operator for proposed rail facility

This land, along Arcadia Boulevard, is one of the properties destined to be part of the Treasure Valley Reload Center. 

NYSSA — Plans to extend water and sewer service to the Treasure Valley Reload Center from the City of Nyssa, will apparently be delayed because of budget issues.

The plan initially, if needed, was to provide water and sewer on site via a well and septic system to allow the project to stay within budget and get started.

Estimated cost of extended water and sewer lines from the city to the reload center property was $5 million, with the state only willing to pay about half through the ConnectOregon program, with the Malheur County Development Corporation to come up with the other half.

Brad Baird of Anderson Perry, designing the reload center, said he had met with members of the Malheur County Court, and was told the other half of the cost could not be paid by the county with its limited budget, he said.

Handling the water and sewer on site would allow the reload center to open, without the Development Corporation going into debt, and water and sewer service would have to be extended from the city later on to allow for additional industrial development at the site.

To address the future of water and sewer line extensions, a BUILD grant of $15 million, has been applied for from the U.S. Department of Transportation, plus off-site road improvements, and on-site rail improvements, plus equipment purchases.

There was no word on when the grant awards will be announced.

Possible expansion is on the minds of Development Corporation Board members during their weekly meeting Tuesday during discussion of Union Pacific Railroads plans to close its shipping facility at Wallula, Washington, along the Columbia River, southeast of the Tri-Cities.

Originally operated by Railex, which originally dedicated trains at the facility for express shipments of product to the New York City area, it was the model for what onion shippers were looking for in the reload facility and encouraged Greg Smith, Malheur County Economic Development Director, to pursue it.

Some of the local onion growers were shipping their onions to Wallula to be put on trains and watched them come back through the Treasure Valley on their way back east.

The conversation Tuesday was on if there was a possibility of shipments that formerly went to Wallula would come to the Treasure Valley facility.

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