Levelland City and Economic Development officials today got engines on track for an $8.6 million industrial rail park in the 12,866-population town just 30 miles west of Lubbock, Texas.
“We broke ground less than one year ago on this important project,” said Dave Quinn, executive director of the Levelland Economic Development Corporation (LEDC). “And this is the culmination of our work. We’re very excited -
not only for our city, but for the entire West Texas region.”
The entire rail portion - which includes a 300-acre development for new businesses - received $3.3 million in federal stimulus funds along with $1.5 million of the LEDC’s cash reserves. The remaining $3.8 million came in the form of a loan through bonds sold by the city and repaid with LEDC sales tax revenues and Tax Increment Financing District Funds.
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Quinn said he anticipates the industrial rail park to create 1,000 jobs and $100 million in new capital investment over its first 10 years. Businesses already expanding or in the building process in Levelland because of the new rail park include Independent Electric and Arkansas-based American Cottonseed, which is preparing to start construction on their Texas expansion, Tex-Rail Commodities.
Area officials and guests boarded a train during opening ceremonies to experience the now-completed project before business officially gets underway.
“We are thankful to have received this $3.3 million in stimulus funding from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act,” said Elgin Conner, LEDC chairman. “This is one of the nation’s largest grants in size and scope. And that says a lot for a town our size to receive recognition for a project such as this. Obviously our government sees the potential we have for growth - and we’ve only just begun.”
“We’re proud the public can now see evidence of the time and effort put in by our engineers, public officials and utility providers,” Conner said. “Chi Energy Inc. relocated flow lines and tank batteries, Xcel and Lamb County Electric completed overhead power lines, while Atmos and Lubbock Gas gathering moved underground gas lines.”
In coordinated efforts, utility companies also made way for Railroad Specialties, Inc., out of Littleton, Colorado, to install more than 21,000 track feet of 132# rail and concrete crossties that make up the rail infrastructure of the industrial rail park. Aside from the rail line, the project also includes the addition of water, sewer and street improvements.
Now complete, the industrial rail park encompasses 18 total lots, ranging in size from five to 65 acres. Each lot, Quinn explained, has direct access to the rail line.