LaPorte County intermodal project hits snag

2013-09-02T16:52:00Z LaPorte County intermodal project hits snagStan Maddux Times Correspondent
September 02, 2013 4:52 pm  • 

The long anticipated intermodal facility in LaPorte County, which has seen its share of hurdles over the years, was moving forward recently until hitting another snag.

Key players in the project including the developers, Providence Logistics and the Halfwassen Group LLC, and the prospective land buyers, Green Express, are at a stalemate.

LaPorte County Commissioner Dave Decker said the latest roadblock is over land acquisition and language in the legal documents governing the entire project.

He said the latest setback, though, is nothing that can't get worked out.

"It's a legal matter. As soon as they get it resolved we'll be moving forward," said Decker.

CSX after starting in the fall has finished extended rail to the site in Kingsbury now known as INland Logistics Port, which consists of about 600 acres.

And, in June, it was announced the first company, Green Express, was close to going up at the new rail spur.

Officials then said the Tampa, Fla., firm was close to purchasing ground to put up a cold storage warehouse to store produce and other food brought in by train until loaded onto trucks for delivery to the consumer.

The land acquisition was expected to be finished by as early as the end of June.

In June, the commissioners also approved a revised agreement designed to secure the deal with Green Express and protect the investments of everyone involved in the project, including LaPorte County and the $6 million it fronted to help to extend rail to the site.

Decker, though, said more loopholes in the agreement were discovered recently, though, grinding progress to a halt.

Matt Reardon, director of LaPorte County Economic Development, said the issue has more to do with the acquisition of 90 acres by Green Express and given the size of the project such matters are nothing out of the ordinary.

He was confident the issues will be resolved so work can begin on what would be the first company to be served by the new rail spur with others to follow suit.

"It's the private sector doing business. We're rooting for them," said Reardon, who added, "there are always issues when you have land transactions."

Decker said all of the key players involved in the project met Wednesday to begin the process of ironing out the wrinkles, something that he called a "minor hiccup."

"It's just a matter of getting it straightened out and sometimes you got to push those guys a little bit to help them along," said Decker.

The CSX Railroad and state also put up $6 million to complete the cost of extending rail to the site.

LaPorte County has created a tax increment financing district as one of the methods for recovering its investment from the increase in land values as the property is developed.

Those monies were from LaPorte County's share of the proceeds from when the state leased the Indiana Toll Road in 2006.



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