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NDTO News Article

Hoeven announces $1.5 million grant for Minot intermodal facility

MINOT, N.D. – Gov. John Hoeven today was joined by Assistant Secretary Sandy Baruah, of the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration to present a $1.5 million grant to the Minot Development Corporation for the establishment of a rail and truck Intermodal Park in the city to transport agricultural and manufactured products. Hoeven has been working with agency officials to award the grant, and met with Baruah two weeks ago in Washington, D.C. to expedite the city’s application.

The grant will assist with land acquisition, the construction of streets, water and sewage services and other improvements to complete the initial 180 acre location. The site will also accommodate several value-added agriculture firms that are planning to expand their operations. The project will create a minimum of 55 new jobs and help the facility attract the $62 million in private-sector funding required.

“Minot’s planned new facility will help create a comprehensive, statewide rail freight system, which is an important element in continuing to grow our economy,” Hoeven said. “North Dakota leads the nation in producing 15 agricultural commodities, and our manufacturing sector is growing. As existing businesses expand, and new businesses start, we need an efficient and comprehensive rail freight system to get those products to world markets.”

Minot Mayor Curt Zimbelman said, “Developing the Intermodal Park is a big step toward developing Minot into an agricultural and shipping hub. Together with the Value-Added Agricultural Park, the Intermodal Park will make it easier and cheaper for area farmers to get their commodities to market.”

Jerry Chavez, president and CEO of the Minot Area Development Association, said: “The Minot Area Development Corporation has done its homework and targeted two key industries that are naturally suited to the area: Value-Added Agriculture and Transportation, Warehouse and Distribution. This grant is a vote of confidence from the U.S. Department of Commerce that we’re moving in the right direction.”

The new facility is part of the state’s unified rail freight plan, which provides for coordinated state rail transportation to help North Dakota’s agricultural producers, processors, manufacturers and other industries move products to world markets. Minot and Fargo/Dilworth, Minn., as well as Bismarck, are moving forward, and the state will coordinate with them and all communities. Hoeven was in Minot in March to announce the state’s plan, as well as a new Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway fueling and maintenance facility, an investment totaling more than $20 million.

An intermodal facility loads closed containers onto rail cars at their point of origin and ships them to coastal ports, where they are loaded whole onto cargo ships for overseas destinations. Once they are filled, the closed containers require little manual handling, which expedites their shipping time and expense. Currently, the nearest intermodal container service available to North Dakota shippers is through facilities located in Dilworth, Minn. Beyond that, Minneapolis-St. Paul is the nearest site.