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Gillbrand urges CSX Corporation to consider Massena for Select Site Program

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MASSENA - The former General Motors Powertrain site in Massena could get a marketing push through the CSX Select Sites Program.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand said Friday that she is urging the CSX Corporation to choose Massena for its Select Site Program, which would be another advantage marketing the property.

According to a press release issued by Sen. Gillibrand’s office, the Select Sites Program certifies rail-served sites that are capable of accommodating larger, rail-served industrial end-users. CSX Select Sites are the first premium certified rail-sites focused on industrialization.

“They’re 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. It’s a resource for companies,” Massena Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray said.

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

In order to receive the designation, sites like the former GM location will have to comply with certain criteria such as land control, infrastructure and utility availability, environmental and cultural reviews, wetlands delineation, appropriate zoning and entitlement, rail serviceability and proximity to highways or interstates.

The 217.2-acre property sits in close proximity to easily accessible transportation facilities. The deep-water port in Ogdensburg provides the facility with direct access to Northeastern United States and Canada, and power is readily 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. 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,” Sen. Gillibrand said in her letter to CSX Corporation Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Michael J. Ward.

The CSX Site application was submitted by the Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response (RACER) Trust, which has been actively working with the Massena community to repurpose and redevelop the site.

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

“Recent industrial developments and close proximity to Northeastern and Canadian markets makes Massena a qualified candidate for the CSX Select Site designation,” she said in the release.

“RACER Trust has been an integral part of demonstrating the north country’s commitment to industrial development and expansion. 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,” the senator added.

Mr. Gray said he was thankful for the assistance Massena has received in marketing the site.

“This truly great news for Massena. On behalf of our residents and the town council, I would like to thank the folks at RACER trust for their hard work promoting this site and our community. This property is a great site with lots of development potential. We’re anxious to show what Massena has to offer to a future developer,” he said.

Mr. Arquiett agreed.

“They’re a great partner. Kudos to Supervisor Gray. We pursued and wrote letters of support for this effort to help RACER with the process. It was evident that not only was RACER in support, but also the surrounding communities that realize the benefits of this opportunity. We appreciate the commitment of Senator Gillibrand, RACER Trust and CSX,” he said.

“Some of the infrastructure at the site now makes the site very opportune for somebody to set up shop. This is a great opportunity to highlight the many benefits of doing business in the Massena area, and we support RACER’s efforts wholeheartedly. RACER has been a strong advocate and partner for economic development and jobs in the north country, and a CSX Select designation for the former GM property is an important step toward strengthening our local economy,” he said.

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