State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R,C - Schenectady) and Governor George E. Pataki recently announced $2.75 million in Multi-Modal and Industrial Access Program (IAP) funding for rail improvements at the Rotterdam Industrial Park located in Schenectady County.The improvements will help Railex LLC, a produce distribution company, to create a new 200,000 square foot distribution facility and add 300 new jobs over the next three years.
After competing with sites in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the Rotterdam Industrial Park was selected by Railex LLC as the home for the company’s new 200,000 square foot East Coast hub.
"The Industrial Access Program has helped hundreds of businesses meet their transportation infrastructure needs, translating into thousands of new jobs for New Yorkers all across the State," Governor Pataki said. "This is great news for the Capital Region. Railex could have chosen to locate their new East Coast distribution center in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, but they chose to locate and create jobs in Upstate New York. Everyday more and more businesses are realizing what Railex already knows - there is no better place to do business than right here in Upstate New York."
Senator Farley said, "This is a double victory for people in our area -- not only will the facility create new jobs, but the new supply of fresh fruits and veggies will help us enjoy affordable healthy meals! Today's exciting announcement confirms the prominence of this region as the rapidly emerging center of consumer product distribution for the Northeast. We add this agricultural distribution facility in Rotterdam to other local distribution centers such as Target in Amsterdam and Ace Hardware in
Wilton. Governor Pataki's pro-jobs policies, including the Industrial Access Program funds for rail facilities which clinched this deal,continue to improve the economy and bring new jobs to Schenectady."
Assemblyman Paul D. Tonko said, "This is another concrete example of Schenectady County’s cost-effective economic development strategy, which will result in $21 million in private sector investment and 300 good paying jobs in the Town of Rotterdam. Moreover, this initiative is good energy and environmental policy. It will reduce our reliance on expensive motor fuels, alleviate highway truck traffic and strengthen our rail transportation infrastructure for years to come."
Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature Susan E. Savage said, "We have worked very hard these past few months to secure Railex for Rotterdam. This is a great victory for Schenectady County and we appreciate the support we have received from Empire State Development and the Department of Transportation for this successful effort to attract 300 new jobs to our community."
Andy Pollak, President and CEO of Ampco said, "We are very excited about this new service option for shippers of perishable goods, which will fill an existing transportation void by allowing for a fifth morning
arrival from Washington State to the Northeast. After considering numerous sites, we are proud to select Rotterdam and Schenectady County as the Northeast hub for Railex."
Railex LLC will construct a 200,000 square foot refrigerated distribution facility that will process inbound rail shipments arriving as a result of a new cross-country freight train service. A new rail yard and extensive improvements to the existing rail infrastructure will be added to the Rotterdam Industrial Park in order to process the nearly mile long freight train that will arrive each week.
Railex LLC will work with the Schenectady County Industrial Development Authority (SCIDA) to apply for the $2.25 million in Industrial Access Program (IAP) funding for the rail improvements at the Rotterdam Industrial Park. An additional $500,000 in Multi-Modal Transportation funding is also available for the rail project.
The new Rotterdam facility represents a cooperative effort between Railex LLC, Union Pacific Railroad and CSX Transportation. Railex Corporation plans to import two, 55-car unit trains per week of fresh produce from the west coast into its new facility - the equivalent of 400 truckloads of produce - across the United States by Union Pacific and CSX Transportation in less than six days.
Currently, 200 tractor trailers make the trip across the nation, straining highways, drivers, and burning diesel fuel over the course of the 3,000 mile journey. The Railex LLC "bullet train" will cross the country weekly saving 84,000 gallons of fuel per week and 4.3 million gallons per year.
More than $21 million in new investments have been made at the Rotterdam Industrial Park. In addition to the new Railex LLC distribution facility, the industrial park will have a new $15 million Price Chopper warehouse, $6 million FedEx Freight facility, and a new corporate office park.
The $2.25 million Industrial Access Program (IAP) funding, administered by the State Department of Transportation, provides a combination of grants and interest-free loans, to municipalities or associations sponsored by municipalities, for transportation access projects that promote economic development, encourage investment and help create and maintain jobs.
The $500,000 in Multi-Modal Transportation funding provides reimbursement for authorized rail, port, airport and local highway and bridge projects. Eligible projects must be for a public or freight transportation purpose and have a minimum 10-year bondable service life.
Empire State Development Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, "This announcement is truly a success for the Capital Region, as well as for all of New York State. Railex’s decision to locate in the Rotterdam Industrial Park proves again that Governor Pataki’s policies and initiatives are working for New Yorkers and for New York State."
State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Thomas J. Madison, Jr. said, "Under Governor Pataki’s leadership, smart investments like this in New York’s transportation infrastructure help create and maintain jobs for the people of New York State. We will continue to work to ensure our transportation system meets and surpasses the expectations of businesses, investors and the traveling public across our great state."
Railex LLC is a division of Ampco Distribution Services Management LLC based in Riverhead, New York. The company has been in business for fifty years delivering fresh produce to grocery retailers on the East Coast. Ampco operates facilities in Nova Scotia, Maine, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia and two facilities in Florida.
In return for its commitment to invest and create new jobs in New York State, the company will also be eligible to apply for Empire Zone benefits.