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Rich History | Big Possibilities

Big Spring’s Economic Development Corp. is going into the rail business — in a manner of speaking

Author: 
Steve Reagan- Big Spring Herald

The local city council capped more than a year of EDC planning and negotiation Tuesday by giving formal approval to a $493,000 rail line construction project at the McMahon-Wrinkle Airpark.

The agreement between EDC and the city will expand the rail line at the airpark and is part of an overall plan by the corporation to enhance rail service in the area.

Western Container will be the initial beneficiary of the plan, as additional rail lines will allow the company, which makes plastic bottles for Coca-Cola products, to expand its storage of production materials and significantly reduce its expenses.

“With this added ability to bring raw materials by rail, it will lower Western Container’s operating costs,” said Terry Wegman, executive director of EDC. “When you look at from that perspective, it makes them more viable in Coca-Cola’s eyes … and hopefully more secure in Big Spring.”

Wegman sees additional economic benefits for the city beyond providing a helping hand to Western Container.

"We've been approached by two companies that will require rail access in that area.  This will help lay the ground work for that," he said.  "One company has pretty much committed to coming here, with the other has expressed strong interest."

The rail line construction, which will begin "as soon as possible," is the first phase of a $1.5 million plan to expand rail lines in the airpark, Wegman said.