Local News

Governor's Office: Selma CSX site not 'a viable option'

Posted January 26, 2016

CSX train

— After two weeks of tension about a proposed CSX cargo hub in Johnston County, the Governor’s Office said in a statement Tuesday that the proposed site for the project was off the table.

"Based on the vote of local officials as well as serious land issues, the current site in Johnston County does not appear to be a viable option. We will continue to work with CSX to explore alternative sites in order to enhance our state ports,” said Graham Wilson, a spokesman for Gov. Pat McCrory.

CSX said earlier this month that it planned to build a $272 million terminal, referred to as the Carolina Connector, or CCX, east of Selma. The terminal would connect directly to the main CSX network and would provide a major transshipment point for container cargo to and from North Carolina ports.

Many local residents voiced opposition to the project, fearing that they would be forced to sell their land. Last Wednesday, the Johnston County Board of Commissioners said that it did not support the proposed plan.

“The Johnston County Board of Commissioners does not support plans for CCX at the footprint the project’s advocates had envisioned,” said a statement from the board. “The board continues to believe that CCX represents economic development opportunities for Eastern North Carolina, including Johnston County, and hopes that alternative sites can be identified that reconciles the project’s location needs with the desires of property owners that are willing to sell their land.”

Wilson stated that even though the current site has been eliminated, the option to build the cargo hub in Johnston County is still on the table.

Officials in Wayne County have also expressed interest in the project. Wayne County Developmental Alliance Director Crystal Gettys said that the county is in contact with CSX and that she has recieved calls from residents who are in favor of the project.

"We know there can be up to 300 temporary construction employees as well as 300 permanent employees and that's very attractive to Wayne County," said Gettys.


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  • David Bunn Jan 27, 2016
    user avatar

    It is very sad to see all of the people who are commenting about the loss of jobs, while cheering the taking of private property. It takes a caring family to hold a property together for a couple of hundred years.

  • Kathleen Volcjak Jan 27, 2016
    user avatar

    Why were these issues not addressed before CSX announced the project? Did CSX talk to the county commissioners during their planning? To the state? Did the county commissioners and/or the state fail to anticipate these objections? Did they change their positions once objections were raised?

    There is at least one failure of leadership here.

  • Amy Whaley Jan 27, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    And it will. I don't find that the project is not going to happen, even in Johnston County. It will happen at a different location. There are landowners willing to sell their property not only in Johnston county but in surrounding counties as well. I do believe a suitable location will be found.

  • Larry Alston Jan 27, 2016
    user avatar

    I understand that a lot of the land in question is land that has been in the family for generations. I appreciate that the government or a company should not force landowners to sell. I do not know what price CSX offered for the land. But, this project would have major economic impact for everyone in Johnston county and the surrounding counties. It would have impact all the way from I-85 to the coast. Rail jobs, trucking jobs, infrastructure jobs, service jobs, distribution jobs; all business opportunities, and tax revenue, that Johnston is turning away. This project could have impact for generations.

  • Doug Smallen Jan 27, 2016
    user avatar

    I'm amazed that the Money didn't talk this time!

  • Amy Whaley Jan 27, 2016
    user avatar

    The comments here are interesting. Did any of you read the article or do you know the history of this story? Johnston County is not rejecting the project completely, just saying we should find another location. Why? Because taxpaying landowners, one who makes his living off his land said they do not want to be forced to sell their property. I am glad the government is listening. Which one of you would enjoy being forced to sell your land and business for this project?

  • Roy Twisdale Jan 27, 2016
    user avatar

    Hard to believe that any county would reject a project this big that would help out with jobs and a larger tax base. Oh well. I am sure Halifax County would gladly take up the offer.

  • Jerry Powell Jan 26, 2016
    user avatar

    How loud would the citizens of Johnston County start screaming if CSX or the contractors building or employed at the dray yard refused to accept any applications from residents Johnston County? That is one I would love to see.

  • Arthur Raleigh Jan 26, 2016
    user avatar

    Wow! McCory is usually on the side of big business! Ok, Johnson County, Wayne County will gladly take the jobs!

  • Steven Reynolds Jan 26, 2016
    user avatar

    I imagine the governor will change his tune, if reelected. He'll sell those people in Selma down the road so fast it'll make your head spin.