Directors of the Malheur County Development Corp. discuss plans for a rail shipping center during a recent meeting. (The Enterprise/file)
VALE – The board overseeing the construction of a shipping facility north of Nyssa decided last week to begin negotiations with two firms to manage the design of the project.
The Malheur County Development Corp., a public corporation established by the Malheur County Court, directed county economic development director Greg Smith to begin consultations with Anderson Perry and Associates and RailPros Field Services to complete the design of the center and its rail infrastructure.
Anderson Perry and Associates, based in La Grande, will be the project engineers while RailPro, an Irvine California firm, will complete work on the rail pattern.
The $26 million-dollar rail shipping center is seen by county and city officials as an economic game-changer. At the rail shipping center, farm products are trucked in and loaded onto trains that can make a run to the East Coast in days. Each train holds several hundred truckloads of goods, lowering freight costs and speeding delivery. A similar shipping center operates in Wallulah, Wash., where a two-mile circular track flows in and out of warehouses.
Nyssa officials also expect the center to help boost the city’s economy.
RailPros Field Services was the only firm that pursued the rail design contract. Along with Anderson Perry and Associates, the Ontario firm CK3 also applied to be the project engineer.
Lynn Findley, a state legislator and development company board member, emphasized during a meeting last week that the process was not based on the lowest bid but instead on a quality-based system.
Smith said he is still working on the final negotiations to buy the land north of Nyssa planned for the facility.
“We are moving on multiple paths forward – an analysis justifying the market, site design, a financial component and marketing component,” said Smith.