A scathing review of a State-directed independent study calls the existing CSX DeWitt Rail Yard the only viable site for an inland port in this area.
CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson gave a detailed critique of the study and the project as it appears to exist now.
The 20-page report prepared for the New York State DOT was prepared by RSG over the course of 17-months.
CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson says, “The report itself is rife with inconsistencies and factual misstatements. If this is the document that New York State DOT is using upon which to base a decision, I’m worried the DOT is making decisions based on bad information.”
127th District State Assemblyman Al Stirpe says it has been difficult for anybody in the area’s State delegation to get any information about the project from State officials.
Stirpe tells NewsChannel 9 he spoke with CSX about this time last year.
“They said that they would need all the money that had been allocated for the project, $40-million, they said they were not willing to contribute any money on their behalf to the project. They said they would not create any new jobs because they are so efficient and that they’re not interested or obligated to do anything around warehousing distribution,” Stirpe says.
Simpson adds, “I worry that we are selling ourselves short again as a community as a result of this decision.”
The State DOT provided the following statement to NewsChannel 9 WSYR:
Central New York has discussed the need for moving goods to and from Central New York by rail for far too long. Governor Cuomo is providing critical funding for strategic investments that will finally make this a reality.
The findings of the report were informed by extensive stakeholder outreach, including representatives of ports and railroads, economic development agencies, business associations, logistics firms, and potential import and export customers of an inland port. CenterState was part of this process.
Ultimately, it was determined, in the near-term, that development of warehousing/distribution facilities within or adjacent to the Central New York Inland Port, while desired, was not essential to its success. In order for an inland port to be successful, the region requires regularly scheduled and reliable container rail service. The DeWitt location is the only viable site that will allow for this.