Marion County received notification from the Appalachian Regional Commission that they had been awarded a $500,000 grant to assist with the construction of a rail spur to facilitate the expansion of an existing industry and to provide rail service into the Nickajack Port Industrial Park located in New Hope, Tennessee. The total project cost is estimated at $2.1 million and will consist of site infrastructure improvements to accommodate the new railroad spur track including site clearing and grading, storm water control facilities and track construction.
This critical rail infrastructure improvement will enable Colonial Chemical, Inc. to expand adding 39 new high paying jobs and will leverage almost $7 million in new capital investment. Additionally, it will provide the potential of rail service into the Nickajack Port Industrial Park giving this industrial site a competitive economic development edge. Local matching funds will be provided by multiple partners including Colonial Chemical, Marion County, the Nickajack Port Authority, the Marion County Economic Development Partnership and Marion County Natural Gas. New Hope Mayor Mark Meyers commented, “The Town of New Hope is happy to partner with Marion County, the Port Authority & Colonial Chemical to further improve this industrial site and facilitate the creation of new jobs in our community.”
ARC is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. This funding constitutes a state and federal partnership which would not be possible without the support of our U. S. Congressional members, Governor Bill Haslam and the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development. Marion County was awarded this grant based on application to TN ECD and a recommendation to ARC from Governor Bill Haslam. Mayor David Jackson stated, “Truly this award represents strategic partnerships working together for the betterment of our county. I am appreciative of the commitment being made by all partners to build critical infrastructure that will allow our county to grow. First and foremost to Colonial Chemical who for twenty years has continued to make investment in our county and create high paying jobs, to ARC & the State of Tennessee for investing in Marion County to strengthen economic growth and to all of our local partners for their commitment toward building critical infrastructure.”
David Anderson, President & CEO of Colonial Chemical, stated: “We are delighted with the news and excited about the prospect this has for Colonial Chemical and our neighbors! Our ability to continue to grow and prosper in Marion County has been based on a partnership with state and local governments that continue to work with existing industry to help meet needs that keep us competitive in the global economy.”
“The Nickajack Port Industrial Park is a prime industrial site in the southeast TN region and we are thrilled to be working in a public private partnership to build infrastructure that will provide us with a distinct advantage when recruiting new industry,” said David Abbott, Chairman of the Nickajack Port Authority.