Rail project: What is it, what will it accomplish?

What: Treasure Valley Reload Center

Its function: To serve as a rail shipping point. Local producers would truck onions and other items to the center to be reloaded onto rail cars for shipment east.

Why it’s needed: Malheur County’s onion industry and county officials say the shipping center would cut costs and speed up delivery to customers.

Where it would go: The county has identified a 290-acre parcel just north of Nyssa along the Union Pacific Railroad track.

What would it cost: The county told the state the project could be built and running by next year at a cost of $26 million. The county also has indicated it is pursuing another $25 million in federal funding, but has provided no details on what that would buy.

Who would own it: The Malheur County Development Corp., a public company established by the county, with its own board.

Who would run it: The county anticipates bringing in a private contractor to run the terminal.

What’s the impact: The county said the center would create seven full time jobs and maybe a dozen seasonal jobs. The onion industry could see its costs cut by $1.8 million a year, consultants say. The county said the center would spur the movement to Nyssa of other industry.

What’s next: The Oregon Transportation Commission is scheduled to decide June 20 whether the county has shown enough evidence the reload center is needed and would be profitable. If it says yes, the county and state would negotiate a contract for the $25 million. If the transportation commission says no, the county would have to find other money.