05/12/10 — Duplin industry wins site award

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Duplin industry wins site award

By Staff Reports
Published in News on May 12, 2010 1:46 PM

WARSAW -- WestPark Business and Industry Center in Duplin County has been selected as a Best Large Industrial Site by the North Carolina Railroad Company.

The county's industrial park received the honor as part of the NCRR's Progress in Motion Forum. The forum challenged local communities to identify and submit sites for recognition as part of the Great Freight Rail Sites in North Carolina program.

The award was designed to provide a learning opportunity for people with properties that may be suitable for consideration as rail industrial sites to get professional input on the possibility. Rail-served sites are rapidly disappearing due to growth in the state, according to the NCRR.

NCRR site consultants McCallum Sweeney Consulting evaluated the rail sites submitted from across the state.

"We were pleased to have received 34 entries from local economic development organizations," NCRR Senior Consultant for Economic Development Richard Wiley said.

Rail-served sites are extremely important to the state's economic growth, he said. The award was a way to showcase properties in the state.

"Last year numerous new industries located in North Carolina because we had available sites with access to rail, creating hundreds of jobs," Wiley said.

The categories in the Great Freight Rail Sites event were Large Industrial Rail sites, Small Industrial Rail sites, Distribution Center sites and Best Presentation. The sites were judged by such criteria as proximity and access to rail lines, roads and air service, the presence of utilities such as electricity, natural gas, water and actual usable acreage. The sites could be on or near any railroad in the state -- Norfolk Southern, CSX, or one of the 21 short line railroads across North Carolina.

McCallum Sweeney Consulting provides site selection services and economic development consulting to businesses and organizations worldwide. The Progress in Motion Forum brought together those with an interest in North Carolina's rail industry and its role in the state's transportation system and economic health. Held in Raleigh on Monday and Tuesday, the forum hosted experts from across the state and country to share ideas and information.

The North Carolina Railroad Company owns and manages the 317-mile rail corridor extending from Morehead City to Charlotte. The railroad carries 60 freight trains and eight passenger trains daily. NCRR is the state's oldest corporation and remains at the forefront of rail improvements and partnership development to promote jobs and rail-served industry across the state. It touches nearly a quarter of the state's economy.