Presentations heard at county meeting

Discussion was held on plans for developing a large rail terminal on Eskota Road during Monday's meeting of the Nolan County Commissioners.Steve Roth with USA Rail Terminals made the presentation, as he wanted to familiarize the commissioners with the project. The company has served the oil and gas industry for 20 years, with current projects ongoing in Louisiana and south Texas.The Nolan County project would employ around 20 workers, span over 300 acres and would be a multi-use facility for pipe, crude oil and frac sand to serve the Cline and Wolfcamp shales. The choice of Sweetwater proved to be beneficial due to its location to the shales and the interstate. Additionally, establishing the terminal on Eskota Road won't have a heavy affect on traffic because it is not located in the city. However, in speaking with one railroad company, two crossings would need to be set up on the road. The time for a train to cross--which could be spaced out as far as every other day--would only take about five to seven minutes.Roth explained that he made sure to obtain various approvals and meet requirements before making the presentation to the commissioners and moving forward. They hope to break ground on the project sometime in the first quarter of the year, which would come to an overall cost of around $10 million. The commissioners approved the measure, yet tabled another action item during the meeting--a contract of mutual agreement between the county and Alltrans Sweetwater Properties LLC (ATSWP). The entity has established itself near the new BNSF logistics center, where trains and trucks could load and unload. However, the commissioners wanted to take a look at a particular road and determine any potential work on the road before taking any action, and only a draft contract had been completed.