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The Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) earlier this week approved a total $642,890 in grant awards to four companies to make rail improvements in the state.
The grant awards are:
• $367,890 to the Ohio South Central Railroad (OSCR) to help cover the cost of rehabilitating the AluChem lead on the line in Jackson to improve rail efficiency and safety. The project involves replacing 2,540 ties, switch refurbishment, tie deck replacement on four bridges and rail replacement. OSCR plans to invest over $244,000 in the more than $600,000 project.
• $125,000 to Versa-Pak Ltd. to help pay for the expansion of on-site rail infrastructure at its facility in Celina to improve rail capacity and rail yard fluidity. The expansion, which will result in 12 new hires at the facility, is part of a $10 million investment by Versa-Pak, which manufactures plastic packaging bags.
• $100,000 to M&M Industries Inc. to add a rail spur at its Lordstown facility. A plastic pail manufacturer, M&M will invest $38 million at the brownfield site and create 106 new jobs; and
• $50,000 grant to Freepoint Commodities to help fund the cost of installing a rail spur at a facility in Obetz. The building will be the new site of a plastics-to-fuel operation, where Freepoint will recycle plastics into synthetic oil. The company will invest $60 million at the project site and create 60 new jobs.
ORDC assists Ohio companies in creating and retaining jobs by preserving rail service and provide rail service to new customers, ORDC officials said in a press release. The commission also funds projects to improve grade crossings.