Wayne chasing CSX terminal after Johnston site rejected

Posted January 27

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— Wayne County officials have quickly jumped on the prospect of landing a major CSX cargo hub after the company's preferred site in Johnston County was taken off the table on Tuesday.

CSX wants to build a $272 million terminal that would connect to its rail network and provide a major transshipment point for container cargo to and from North Carolina ports. The company had staked out a 450-acre site near Selma, but local opposition to the project built in recent weeks among property owners who feared being forced to sell their land.

Last week, the Johnston County Board of Commissioners came out against the proposed terminal, known as the Carolina Connector, and the Governor's Office acceded to the opposition on Tuesday, saying the Selma site "does not appear to be a viable option."

CSX officials said Wednesday that they still want to build a terminal in North Carolina, but they declined to comment on possible sites.

"CSX is committed to this infrastructure project, which will create jobs, deliver a distinct competitive advantage for large and small businesses and spur economic development," the company said in a statement. "We look forward to working with all interested stakeholders to address concerns and move the project forward."

Wayne County officials have already contacted CSX and are sharpening their pitch for the project, which would create hundreds of construction jobs and could lead to about 1,500 jobs statewide once it's operational.

"We're closing Cherry Hospital here, and the acreage is available there," said Joe Daughtery, chairman of the Wayne County Board of Commissioners, referring to a state mental hospital in Goldsboro. "There is one spot that acreage is available that the state already owns the property, so actually, they could use that property as the incentive rather than the dollars."

CSX last fall requested $100 million in state transportation funding to help pay for the project.

"We expect a visit in the near future," Daughtery said.

Johnston County officials say they plan to continue pursuing the project, just not at the Selma site.

"We're not supportive of the project on that particular footprint, but we're also keeping that door open because we know this will be a great project," Johnston County Manager Rick Hester said. "I'm fairly optimistic that it can be in our area."

The North Carolina State Ports Authority passed a resolution Wednesday supporting the Carolina Connector and urging state and local officials to work with CSX to make it a reality.


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  • Garry Wright Jan 28, 2016
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    I certainly sympathize with everyone in the area that opposes this project, afterall no wants to lose their home or land. However, as a land owner in the area, I fully support the project and am willing to sell. The truth is that this site or one near it is one of the only suitable sites on the east coast, much less NC. The proximity to CSXs existing rail line, Norfolk Southern's rail line, I-95, Hwy-70, and NC's ports make the area an ideal location. To replicate this same level of access in another portion of NC could cost hundreds of millions if not billions. NC needs these jobs, everyday people are loosing their homes and land through foreclosure not just eminent domain. The fact is every road, reservoir, airport, ect... which people use everyday took someones family farm or home.

  • Michael Respole Jan 28, 2016
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    shortsightedness by politicians whom seem to give in to a vocal few that either have an ideological dispute with eminent domain laws and/or the optics of using those laws. Sorry eminent domain laws are in place just for this reason, so a landowner can't hold up a project perceived to be for the greater good of the many. Now if you want to talk about CSX request for $100 million in incentives that is another subject. Funny Tony Braswell is looking to get elected for higher office & gov pat is up for reelection could that factor into this ?

  • Arthur Raleigh Jan 28, 2016
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    Everywhere there is development was a family farm at one time! You act like there are areas where no one has ever lived ever!

  • Roy Hinkley Jan 28, 2016
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    Not according to several sources. NC is very business friendly. Heck Forbes even rates NC 5th overall on their list of best states for business.

  • Jim Frei Jan 28, 2016
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    Are those Johnson County commissioners fools? Go get 'em Wayne County.

  • Rodney Hill Jan 28, 2016
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    It's really sad how business unfriendly NC is.

  • Eric Bohlen Jan 27, 2016
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    Those short sighted in Johnston County did not realize that not only will in bring in enormous jobs to that region, but the rail line will be extended to Wilmington and open up the port to millions in cargo. The state wins as a whole and now we wait

  • Fenway O'Donnell Jan 27, 2016
    user avatar

    Way to go Wayne County!!! I hope you get the jobs!!!

  • Janet Ghumri Jan 27, 2016
    user avatar

    Come on, there's gotta be a spot in N.C. that will work, without displacing family farms. Glad Johnston County is off the table (at least the area that they were gunning for, that would have taken a multi generation farm).
    N.C. can use the jobs