St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency CEO Patrick J. Kelly says $500,000 in state funding will repair three rail tracks that serve the Newton Falls line.
Kelly said access is being restored to enable the processing and loading of aggregate materials from the Benson Mines site to the Newton Falls Secondary.
The funding came as part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s rail and port improvement projects. More than $25 million was granted to 19 applicants as part of the initiative.
"This project, along with the Newton Falls Rail Rehabilitation and ongoing demolition and abatement at the former J&L site is part of a comprehensive set of efforts to rebuild the economic development infrastructure in Southern St. Lawrence County,” Kelly said
“For years the J&L site has deteriorated and decayed while the surrounding area was unable to economically benefit from the natural resources at the Benson Mines property. Together, these projects are improving the landscape and removing blight while setting the stage for future development in the region. We thank the governor and the Department of Transportation for their significant and continued support of our initiatives.”
State Senator Patty Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, is applauding the investments that will support rail improvements in St. Lawrence County.
“These important investments will better position our region to make it easier to move products to new markets by both rail and water,” Ritchie said. “And, at the same time, they will also serve to boost Central and Northern New York by spurring economic growth and creating new jobs.”
An additional $5.4 million in private and local funding is being leveraged through this state initiative, including a $2.1 million to construct additional rail tracks and expand cargo-handling facilities. The funding will allow for rail track upgrades to store up to 80 rail cars. The improvements will also allow the port to increase its capacity to handle and export agricultural products, such as soybeans, wheat and more.