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Gillibrand urges CSX Corp. to consider Massena for Select Site Program

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MASSENA — The former General Motors Powertrain site here could get a marketing push through a CSX program to promote development at rail-accessible sites.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand said Friday that she is urging the CSX Corp. to choose Massena for its Select Site Program, which certifies rail-served sites that are capable of accommodating larger, rail-served industrial end-users.

Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray said the railroad is “considering placing the former GM site on that list.”

“It’s another level of marketing through the entire CSX service area that will be specifically tailored to companies looking for sites to develop,” he said. “It’s a resource for companies.”

“It’s primarily a marketing effort,” said St. Lawrence County Legislator Anthony J. Arquiett, D-Helena, chairman of the North Country Redevelopment Task Force.

To receive the designation, sites such as the former GM location have to comply with certain criteria, including infrastructure and utility availability, environmental and cultural reviews, wetlands delineation, zoning, rail serviceability and proximity to highways.

The 217.2-acre property sits in proximity to transportation facilities including the deep-water port in Ogdensburg, which provides access to the Northeast and Canada. Power is available through the St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project.

“I believe these assets make this site fully capable of accommodating larger, rail-served industrial end-users, positioning it as a perfect fit for CSX’s Certified Rail-Served Sites Select Site Program,” Sen. Gillibrand wrote to Michael J. Ward, CSX chairman, president and CEO. “If successful in securing this designation, the Massena site will be even better positioned to attract new industrial operations, with CSX’s program further helping communities prepare properties to compete for new investment and job creation.”

The CSX site application was submitted by the Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response Trust, which has been working to redevelop the site.

Sen. Gillibrand, in urging the CSX Corp. to consider adding the location to its program, said the site would be perfect for the needs of companies.

“This designation will highlight the region’s assets to potential new companies that could call the former Powertrain plant site a new home, bringing more work and jobs for the area’s well trained industrial workforce,” she wrote.

Mr. Gray said he is thankful for the assistance Massena is getting to market the site.

“This property is a great site with lots of development potential,” he said. “We’re anxious to show what Massena has to offer to a future developer.”

Mr. Arquiett agreed.

“Some of the infrastructure at the site now makes the site very opportune for somebody to set up shop,” he said. “This is a great opportunity to highlight the many benefits of doing business in the Massena area.”

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