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Feds Invest $5 M In Terminal

Feds Invest $5 M In Terminal

Ashcroft Cache Creek Journal  – July 19, 2010

Ashcroft Terminal got a double stroke of good news last week when it was announced it had received up to $5 million from the federal government to build infrastructure.

"It’s not just the grant," said Ashcroft Terminal CEO Robert Landucci. "It’s being recognized as part of the Asia-Pacific Gateway Corridor."

Federal Minister Chuck Strahl made the announcement last Wednesday on behalf of the Honourable Stockwell Day, President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway.

"It brings a thrill to my heart," said Strahl as he addressed those who came to hear the announcement.

He said expansion of Ashcroft Terminal into a multi-user rail facility will improve the movement of goods from the West Coast to central Canada and will lead to greater trade to the Asia-Pacific. The project will also help reduce the number of trucks in the Lower Mainland.

Strahl said the money also showed that the federal government could see the long term potential in the operation.

"It’s important to the country, not just the region," said Strahl.

The Federal funding for this project comes from funds previously set aside under the Mountain Pine Beetle Program, which ended in March this year and is being delivered through the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative.

Landucci said he was invited to Ottawa six months ago to present his plans to Minister Stockwell Day. After the presentation, Day invited him to fill out and application for the funding.

The $5 million grant matches the money that Landucci raises from other investors and spends on the project. He said the grand will be used for phase 1 which he estimates at a cost of $10-$12 million and will include the addition of switching, a loop track around the property and more sidings.

He said the company spent $1 million last year to build a siding for Lafarge.

Ashcroft Terminal already has at least a half dozen companies using its facilities.

After stage 1 is finished, he said, they will focus on building more installations, storage facilities, and infrastructure to increase volume.

The "inland port" description is no longer being used, said Landucci. IT is now a "logistics hub" where companies bring their transportation problems to be solved.

"We’ve had a lot of support in all parts of government, but it has to come together," said Ashcroft Mayor Andy Anderson, "and I think this is the part that brings it all together."