Port officials move forward with Bleyhl rail expansion


Providing an update to Port of Sunnyside commissioners last night is Jed Crowther (L), the port's property, development and project manager. At right is Steve Winfree, the port's legal counsel.

A second rail spur off of Midvale Road received a push last night in action by Port of Sunnyside commissioners. Monday night's meeting saw commissioners approve a bid for construction of the additional rail spur to service Bleyhl's propane storage needs. The Grandview-based company, which previously stored its propane tanks near downtown Sunnyside, rents the spur line from the port. The bid went to RailWorks Track System, Inc. at a cost of $182,077, approximately $75,000 less than the same company charged to construct the first rail spur in 2010. In related news, commissioners last night approved an amended lease contract with Blehyl to reflect the rental costs of the second spur. The new rental rates, effective 2014, start at a minimum of $34,069 per year and decrease from there to a minimum of $16,376 in 2023. The rate includes costs for the second rail spur. The project is coming in well under budget. Earlier this year the port received a grant/loan package from the Yakima Valley Development Association that provides up to $68,000 in grant funds and a $206,000 loan to construct the second rail spur. Plans are to have the second spur in place this summer, well before fall in order to meet Bleyhl's growing propane demand when cooler weather arrives.


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