Calcasieu Parish Police Jury approves creation of railroad

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Economic development may be in the Port of Lake Charles's future with developments to the existing railroad.

Legal Counsel Port of Lake Charles Mike Dees said the Port will form its own railroad under a non-profit form of entity. Dees said the development would include a new grain terminal.

"It's just something to facilitate this development. The new grain terminal is about a $50-million project that should be under construction here hopefully in the next year or so and take about 18 months to complete," Dees said.

Along with that $50,000,000 will be another $20,000,000 in railroad improvements. The changes to the railroad at the Port will also bring in more jobs.

"We're not talking about hundreds of jobs. We're talking about around 25 permanent jobs," Dees said.

The railroad itself will hire close to 15 employees to operate the railroad and appoint three crews to operate the railroad around the clock.

"We're not just going to operate from 8 to 5. You can't get trains in and out at the non-peak times, so it'll require us to hire additional folks in that area," Dees said.

The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury approved the creation of the new railroad and the next step is to go to a public comment hearing which will take place over the next 30 days. It will be presented before the Police Jury again on Oct. 20 for final action.

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