Business & economy

Consultants question benefit to agriculture industry of $26 million rail center

Malheur County’s onion producers likely won’t get faster or cheaper shipping service than they have now if the Treasure Valley Reload Center is built in Nyssa, according to a new state analysis.

The finding undermines key factors Malheur County officials have cited to justify the project.

And the new report comes as state officials consider the prudence of putting $26 million in public money into the project. The Oregon Transportation Commission is scheduled to consider that choice on Thursday.

The Treasure Valley Reload Center had long been promoted as an economic savior for Malheur County’s agriculture industry.

The center, intended to move onions from truck to rail, was predicted to cut shipping time and costs, making onion producers more successful. It was cast as a job producer and a stimulus for other industrial development in Nyssa . . .