Ohio Industries Getting Boosts from State Railroad Grant Efforts

(The Center Square) – More than $600,000 in state grants are expected to help create nearly 120 new Ohio jobs while improving rail access for industries in three communities, the Ohio Rail Development Commission announced.

The smallest grant is part of the largest new-job projects and is meant to help a site that nearly had rail service eliminated a few years ago.

M&M Industries will receive $100,000 to add a rail spur at its new facility in Lordstown. The company, which makes plastic pail containers for hazardous and non-hazardous solids and liquids, plans a $38 million investment at the brownfield site and create 106 new jobs.

“This is an exciting project for ORDC for multiple reasons. In partnership with Team NEO and the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce, we are supporting private investment in a brownfield site in Ohio,” Matthew Dietrich, executive director of the ORDC, said. “Just a few years ago, the railroad was considering eliminating rail service on this line, so this type of investment not only helps M&M Industries but also helps ensure continued rail service in the area for current and future businesses.”

The largest and most expensive project involves a $367,890 grant to the Ohio South Central Railroad for work on the 4.8-mile AluChem lead. It involves replacing 2,540 ties, switch refurbishment, tie deck replacement on four bridges and rail replacement.

AluChem, who makes alumina products for industries, is the only customer on the line, and the total project is expected to cost $600,000.

Also, a maker of plastic bags for food and consumer industries, Versa-Pak will receive $125,000 to expand on-site rail at its facility in Celina. It is expected to be part of a $10 million total investment by Versa-Pak and create 12 new jobs.

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