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Rail depot seen as a ‘game-changer’

By Pat Caldwell

The Enterprise

VALE — The money is there, at least for now, and but no blueprint exists to build a new rail shipping center in Malheur County.

Last week the county received a huge economic boost when the Oregon Legislature approved $26 million for the local facility.

The shipping depot would form special trains loaded with area produce trucked in. The trains would then head east, cutting time and costs for the local agriculture industry. The depot also would create new local jobs.

“It is pretty unbelievable. It will impact not only Malheur County but all of the surrounding counties and in Idaho,” said Kit Kamo, director of the Snake River Economic Development Alliance.

Paul Skeen, Malheur County Onion Growers Association president, agreed.

“This is huge. I can’t state it loud enough,” he said.

The shipping depot is a game-changer for the local onion . . .