By Tiffany Pelt - email
LEVELLAND, TX (KCBD) - After almost a year of construction, the $8.6 million Levelland Industrial Rail Park is up and running.
Levelland held their grand opening to the park, allowing people on board the train to ride around see the developments. "This is a historic day for Levelland," said Dave Quinn, Levelland Economic Development Corp executive director. "We came up with a plan two years ago to change our future, and here we are on a train riding through the rail park for the first time."
The 21,000 feet of new track loops around 300 acres with 18 lots for new businesses to come in. The LEDC hopes the new rail will bring 1,000 new jobs and add over $100 million in new capital for Levelland over the next ten years.
"1,000 new jobs, that's a huge impact to a community our size," said Quinn. "We love this place, and we love this community. We want our children to have the same opportunity we had to make a life here, and so that means investing today so that tomorrow we have those opportunities."
What makes it unique? Think of the rail park as an interstate system with on ramps leading to each business. Usually the businesses would have to build their own rail systems, but with the rail park the new companies would already have "on ramps" or direct access to the rail. "What we've done is put that infrastructure in place; all they have to do is put in a siding, a switch to whatever gets them on the track," said Quinn.
These businesses will be able to ship or receive on a global level. So far, only one business has purchased a lot. They will distribute cotton seed nationwide.
Eight of the lots are already equipped with water and sewer lines, all the company has to do is begin construction. The money made from those lots being sold will then be used to put in sewer and water lines for the remaining ten lots.
"We believe the rail is going to play a key role in transportation, and in the future and recovery of America. We want to be on the forefront of that, and let companies know they can come to Levelland and get on track," said Quinn.
Copyright 2010 KCBD. All rights reserved.