Nichole Hannahs

Port Withdraws Grant Letter

by Nichole Hannahs on June 15, 2011 at 2:16 am

A plan to extend rail to the Job Ready Site at the Eastpointe Industrial Park has been withdrawn from consideration.

Port Authority Executive Director Mike Jacoby was authorized by the board Wednesday to withdraw a grant letter that requested $800,000 in money from the Federal Economic Administration.

"It’s a disappointment because we spent the time and energy to engineer the rail to the job ready site," said Executive Director Mike Jacoby. "But, weighing the cost and benefits we were going to have to spend a significant amount of local money with no guarantee that the end used would need rail."

The project was estimated at $3.1million. They were also going to use $475,000 earmark from the Federal Rail Administration for the project.

That will now go towards putting in safety gates and lights at the rail crossings. Also a verbal agreement was reached with Washington Township and the city to create a Joint Economic Development District with the port.

"It’s exactly what needs to happen," said Jacoby. "It’s a matter of agreeing to the language in writing and having the proper bodies, the council acts. So, this is a big accomplishment."

The port will receive $50,000 from the city and $50,000 from the township for 8 years from JEDD revenues that will be used to repave and upkeep Eastpointe Drive.