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Rail project moves forward

SEVERN — Work on a railroad relocation project here is moving along.

Northampton County Economic Development Commission Director Gary Brown and Resinall Corporation General Manager Paul Pearce appeared before the Board of Commissioners last week to give an update on the project.

The project involves the relocation of approximately 3,000 feet of the NCVA railroad mainline track passing the Resinall Corporation, a chemical manufacturing facility in Severn. The rail line and the Resinall plant must come into compliance with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Homeland Security regulations, which require security fencing and a buffer zone around the location.

“It is funded largely through funds from the North Carolina Department of Commerce through the Industrial Development fund that is $275,000 and the North Carolina Department of Transportation through the Rail Division with a grant of $375,000,” Pearce stated.

In April, the commissioners approved a $375,000 short-term bridge loan to Resinall Corporation Inc. for the project. The funds for the bridge loan came from the county’s Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund and Economic Development Capital Reserve Fund.

Pearce said the help from the commissioners was appreciated by Resinall Corporation and NCVA Railroad.

“It was $375,000 given by the Department of Transportation, which that bridge loan will come in to play on that reimbursement,” he said. “The money that is given to the contractor then allows us to keep that $375,000 in our operating funds to keep it flowing during these tough economic times. It’s a huge help for us as a corporation.”

Pearce said work on the project is beginning as all permits, design and procurement activities have been completed and a contractor has been selected and notice to proceed with construction has been issued.

He added the project should be completed before November 15.

Pearce thanked Representative Michael Wray and Senator Ed Jones for their help and lauded Brown for his work as well.

“Northampton County is very fortunate to have Gary Brown in their corner always fighting and trying to get funds for projects such as the one we were doing,” he said.

Commission Chair Robert Carter thanked Pearce for his update.

“This board does stand ready and able to assist our businesses within this county,” Carter said. “We know that you provide employment opportunities for citizens of this county as well as citizens outside of the county.”

The $375,000 loan will be repaid to the county by Resinall after it is reimbursed by the Department of Transportation (DOT) Rail Division. The repayment will take place approximately six months from the effective date of the loan and issuance of the contractor’s notice to proceed.