New Bedford — The $361,669 State Railroad grant will help Ice Cube Cold Storage Maritime grow its seafood business by increasing access to freight rail, funding the construction of a safer port, and adding new jobs at five locations.
Governor Karen Polito, President John Mitchell and Representative. agent. Representative Antonio Cabral, D-New Bedford, joined company officials at the MacArthur Drive Port 276 plant site to celebrate the grant Thursday morning.
“This is a very exciting time for our company and for the city of New Bedford,” said Scott Hutchins, Vice President of Ice Cube Cold Storage & Logistics.
The cold storage and fish processing business employs more than 500 people in New Bedford and Fall River as Ice Cube Cold Storage, including the manufacturing and processing business, Raw Seafoods, with more than 500,000 square feet of space.
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“My brother (Jason) and I and New Bedford Whalers. We started here in 1998, moved to Fall River in 2006, and after acquiring Ice Cube Cold Storage Maritime, we moved back to our hometown last year,” he says.
This grant will help the new Bedford facility rebuild the pier. “Currently, it is an enclosed pier that is completely unsuitable for New England winters. So with this funding, we will be able to build a new, covered, cooled pier that will make our facilities safer and more efficient for our people to work during the summer months.”
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Rail upgrades will also enable the company to “significantly increase the size of the railways. In 2021, when we purchased the facility last year, we received 21 train cars during the year. This will enable us to receive between 100 and 200 railway cars in the country. 2023.” . "
This would eliminate about 400 truck trips annually, which benefits the environment and increases efficiency, he said.
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He added that the railroad repairs would also benefit other businesses in southeastern Massachusetts, reducing trucking costs.
“Shipping rail products from the West Coast, particularly red salmon, coho salmon, cod and cod, by rail and truck, allows us to do so more efficiently and economically, making us more competitive in our sales nationwide around the world,” he said. .
Hutchins added: "Ultimately, we will create more local jobs here in New Bedford. And I have to say another great aspect of this project is that there will be little environmental impact of what we have to do." Success. "
State Representative Antonio Cabral, D-New Bedford, said, "We have a family business here at Ice Cube that really understands the importance of being in New Bedford and the potential for rail access in the future."
Part of the reason the rail line will become increasingly important to New Bedford and its waterfront is its continued investment in the South Shore Railway, which is expected to open two train stations in the city by the end of 2023, Cabral said. He asked for approval. So that the city can open the platform in time for the November 8 election referendum as an MBTA community. It would read: "Will this city be added to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority?"
Cabral said: “Without the South Coast Railway, the freight line would not be possible. The old railways could not travel more than 10 kilometers per hour. It is unprofitable. It is inefficient. We caused. In fact. The trains we will get thanks to this Investing in bringing and moving the product can be used.”
"We will have a passenger service and we have also improved delivery services, which will make the Ice Cube and other places at sea more profitable and profitable, and at the same time really impactful," he added. Climate change ".
MassDOT's director of rail and transportation, Meredith Slessinger, said the Ice Cube grant was one of seven more than $3 million statewide that day through the Industrial Railroad Access Program to fund rail infrastructure improvements.
Recipients must match public grant funds with private funds covering at least 40% of the total project cost.
Governor Karen Polito said: "I love this programme. It is a small resource for the Commonwealth."
He added that he is improving the railways through infrastructure improvements and improvements that help companies like Ice Cube Maritime grow.
At the same time, he said, it reduces truck traffic and benefits the environment. He said the seven grants awarded Thursday will cancel more than 25,000 truck trips each year.
Mitchell is touting the spirit of New Bedford Harbor, from its status as one of the largest fishing ports in the United States, to its active shipping and leisure elements, as a "staging point for the US offshore wind industry" next year.
"What this means to us is the potential," Mitchell said. “It is an opportunity and we cannot take advantage of this opportunity if we do not do our part: the right staff, political commitment, great partners in the private sector.” But we also need an efficient infrastructure. Removing useful infrastructure and critical infrastructure from the port.”
Other grants include:
Old Boston Street Recycling ($500,000): This grant will support the construction of a new line at the Wilbraham Recycling Facility. The additional line will increase the reliability and volume of rail freight shipments, eliminating 10,000 truck trips each year.
Arrowhead Environmental Partners ($500,000): This grant will support the restructuring of the company's shipyard, which will increase the reliability and volume of rail freight deliveries, eliminate 5,600 truck trips annually, and create four businesses.
Cavossa Disposal Corporation ($413,326): This grant will help modernize the Upper Cape Regional Transit Terminal in Sandwich, which will increase rail traffic, eliminate 2,000 truck trips annually, and create five jobs.
Lehigh Cement Company LLC ($500,000): This grant will help improve Palmer's railcar loading and unloading system, which will increase rail freight volumes and eliminate 925 truck trips annually.
CSX ($499,000): This grant will support the Everett Coke Works Rehabilitation Project, which will support the sustainable use of freight rail services by Everett freight companies and increase the reliability and volume of rail freight shipments, eliminating 1,350 truck trips annually.
Broco Energy ($334,289): This grant will replace 81 Hill Street and help renovate the rail facility. Haverhill yard, which will increase rail freight volumes and eliminate 3,200 truck trips each year.
This article originally appeared in Standard-Times: Rail Grants Benefit New Bedford Harbor Fish Company Add 5 Jobs