Winston County and the City of Louisville have received an Appalachian Regional Commission SAAW (Southern Automotive & Aeronautics Workforce) grant in the amount of $2M. These funds will go toward further development of Louisville Rail Park.
Phase 1 of this development will include enhancing the trans-load area, including extending track northward in the area, and tie it back up with the rail that was originally there.
The project will also recapture much of the old Jake’s Recycling site, which has already received environmental clearance. The result will be an overall enhancement of the area. Phase 2 will involve more development down Railroad Avenue, but this particular grant deals only with Phase 1.
The $2M grant does require a $500K match which can consist of in kind services and cash. In kind services simply means the County and the City doing actual work such as demolition and construction.
Winston Partnership Executive Director, Glen Haab, said that the aim is to continue to create enhanced traffic on that portion of the KCS Railway line. He added, “We’re fortunate that we have some local industries, specifically around the region, that use our trans-load area.”
Haab pointed out that Leake and Attala Counties do not have any rail services and that is one of the reasons it is important to continue to develop the rail park. And it is very important to keep KCS here as that creates more traffic and opportunities to build around, and to help retain the industries that we currently have.
Like all such projects this is a process that has to be worked through, but residents should begin to see progress within the next six weeks or so.
Haab reiterated that this is a joint project between Winston County and the City of Louisville, and he feels very fortunate to county and city leaders who have a very positive outlook towards economic development. He further stated that the attitude of the local leadership has been one of cooperation, knowing that what benefits one also benefits the other, and this is an attitude that is not present in all areas.