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LaPorte County Announces $1 Million State Grant for Rail Connection

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LaPorte County

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Lakeshore Public Radio's conversation with Tony Rodriquez, Director of the LaPorte County Office of Community and Economic Development about the economic development opportunity that is expected to come from the connection of the rail spur at Kingsbury Industrial Park with the CSX mainline.

LAPORTE COUNTY - After many years of working on it, LaPorte County will soon have an industrial park that can be served by two Class One rail carriers and it'll be a one-of-kind in the midwest. 

The county has entered into an agreement with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation for a $1 million performance-based grant to support the connection of LaPorte County's $6 million rail spur at Kingsbury Industiral Park with the CSX mainline.  The CSX mainline is adjacent to the park's southern border.

Tony Rodriquez, Director of the LaPorte County Office of Community and Economic Development says money from this grant is going to produce a lot economic opportunity for the county.

"The funds being made available through this grant are opening the door to direct Tier One railroad connection making the Kingsbury Logistics Park a world class heavy manufacturing industrial park opportunity that we can begin to market immediately," Rodriquez says.

The agreement to make the connection was approved Wednesday, January 29th, at the county's Redevelopment Commission meeting.

The IEDC offered LaPorte County up to $1 million from the Industrial Development Grant Fund, which provides assistance to communities making infrastructure investments in support of economic development opportunities. 

Lakeshore Public Radio Show Host/Reporter Sharon Jackson spoke with Rodriquez and Randy Novak, the President of the LaPorte County Council and President of the LaPorte County Redevelopment Commission, about the project.

Sharon Jackson is the local host of "All Things Considered" and a reporter for Lakeshore Public Radio. She has been with 89.1 FM since its launch in 2009. Sharon is also a radio DJ in Chicago, and has been since 2004. In her previous job at Metro Networks/Westwood One, she was heard on am 890 WLS, WGN radio 720 am and am 560 WIND. She has also delivered news and traffic reports on radio stations all over Chicago and the suburbs including 95.9 The River, 98.3 WCCQ and Star 96.7.