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Less than one year after breaking ground, Levelland City and Economic Development officials will get engines on track for an $8.6 million industrial rail park in the 12,866 population town. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is slated for 10:30 a.m. Nov. 17.
“We’ve come a long way in 11 months,” said Dave Quinn, executive director of the Levelland Economic Development Corporation (LEDC). “We’ve used the tagline, ‘Progressive on Purpose,’ here in Levelland for quite some time, and this ribbon-cutting is the culmination of our work — not only for our city, but for the entire West Texas region.”
The entire rail portion—which includes a 300-acre development for new businesses—received $3.3 million in federal stimulus funds along with $1.5 million of the LEDC’s cash reserves. The remaining $3.8 million came in the form of a loan through bonds sold by the city and repaid with LEDC sales tax revenues and Tax Increment Financing District Funds.
“We are thankful to have received this $3.3 million in stimulus funding from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act,” said Elgin Conner, LEDC chairman. “This is one of the nation’s largest grants in size and scope. And that says a lot for a town our size to receive recognition for a project such as this.”
Quinn said he anticipates the industrial rail park to create 1,000 jobs and $100 million in new capital investment over its first 10 years.
“We’re proud the public can now see evidence of the time and effort put in by our engineers, public officials and utility providers,” Conner said. “Chi Energy Inc. relocated flow lines and tank batteries, Xcel and Lamb County Electric completed overhead power lines, while Atmos and Lubbock Gas gathering moved underground gas lines.”
In coordinated efforts, utility companies also made way for Railroad Specialties, Inc., out of Littleton, Colorado, to install more than 21,000 track feet of 132# rail and concrete crossties that make up the rail infrastructure of the industrial rail park. Aside from the rail line, the project also includes the addition of water, sewer and street improvements.
Now complete, the industrial rail park encompasses 18 total lots, ranging in size from five to 65 acres. Each lot, Quinn explained, has direct access to the rail line.