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The Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) this week approved grant awards for Cleveland and Cuyahoga Railway LLC (CCRL), an OmniTRAX Inc. property, and Huhtamaki Inc. for rail-related projects.
ORDC approved a grant award of up to $300,000 to CCRL to help repair a stone arch culvert on the railroad's Mahong Subdivision. In June, the embankment adjacent to the culvert failed, requiring the railroad to perform emergency repairs to bring the rail line back into service. Based on the culvert's condition, CCRL took additional action to stabilize the structure and completed the interim repairs.
However, additional repairs to the culvert are necessary to keep the rail line in service, CCRL officials said in a press release issued by ORDC. The rail line serves a Nestle Corp. plant, which provides local jobs in Solon, Ohio. The grant funds, along with a 50-50 match, will help the railroad afford the repair costs, they said.
"This project is another excellent example of how rail service is critical to businesses throughout Ohio," said ORDC Executive Director Matthew Dietrich. "By helping the CCRL with these repairs, ORDC is ensuring that the railroad can continue to serve Nestle in Solon."
Meanwhile, the ORDC approved an $80,000 grant for global food packaging company Huhtamaki to help pay for repairs to two on-site grade crossings at the company's plant in New Vienna, Ohio.
The company plans to invest $9 million in construction, machinery, equipment and related costs at its plant. The ORDC grant funds will assist in making necessary repairs to rail infrastructure on the project site. As a result of receiving the ORDC grant, the company has committed to creating 30 new jobs and retaining 226 existing jobs in New Vienna, ORDC and Huhtamaki officials said.
"We depend on the rail system to deliver us with plastic resin to make our consumer goods and retail products, which have been deemed essential during these trying times and kept our employees working," said Mike Wadsworth, plant manager at Huhtamaki.
ORDC assists Ohio companies and communities in creating and retaining jobs by preserving rail service to existing shippers and providing rail service to new customers.