By Rachel Ravina, Staff Writer
(July 11, 2019) Tyson Foods will use state and county money to buy a trackmobile railcar mover for its Snow Hill feed mill, following a vote by the Worcester County Commissioners last Tuesday to contribute a small portion of the overall purchase price.
Economic Development Director Kathryn Gordon said the used trackmobile would cost $250,000, but the state’s department of commerce could provide financial assistance through the Maryland Economic Development Assistance and Authority Funding. Tyson Foods reestablished a work- ing relationship with the Maryland Delaware Railroad Company in June to haul freight from Snow Hill to Frankford, Delaware.
Gordon said the state funding plan required the commissioners to chip in $10,000 and issue a “formal resolution supporting and endorsing the financial assistance by the department or authority.”
Additionally, Gordon recommended applying for a Community Legacy Program grant, and list Tyson Foods as the subrecipient.
Commissioner Jim Bunting also asked about the possible timeline and potential of having passenger rail service, but Gordon said was unsure about those capabilities.
However, Cathrin Banks, president of the Maryland Delaware Railroad Company, said there’s been talks with county and state agencies to bring an excursion train south of Berlin.
Banks added the railroad company made improvements to the track be- tween Berlin and Ironshire Station Road in Berlin, which is about 2.5 miles from downtown.
“[We’ve been] working on it for several years, [and have] reached a criti- cal juncture,” Banks said in a June interview. “… I think we’d like to see something … come to fruition in the next couple of years here.”
Commissioner Chip Bertino moved to approve the award of $10,000, and to also apply for the grant.
Commissioner Ted Elder agreed.
“This is a great moment for Snow Hill … and I appreciate the work you’ve done on it. Therefore, I second that motion.”