International Falls wins $657,000 grant for rail hub project

The International Falls Economic Development Authority as been awarded a $657,000 state grant to construct a warehouse that will aid international shipping and create jobs.

A private company called Nexus Distribution will use the facility to provide repackaging services that enable Canada and other international companies to meet U.S. regulatory requirements, according to The Journal newspaper in International Falls.

The warehouse and processing center will be built on an 80 acre site adjacent to what city officials say is the largest rail port in North America. They expect the development will create about 50 much needed jobs over the next five years.

The project was among 14 in Minnesota that received funding through the state’s Transportation Economic Development Program, a two-year-old initiative between the state Department of Employment and Economic Development and the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The program aims to improve transportation infrastructure and create jobs.

International Falls Mayor Shawn Mason told The Journal that the grant will help the city capitalize on its location in the center of North America. Rail containers carrying Asian-made product travel through International Falls from Vancouver, British Columbia and then on to Chicago.

Mason says the warehouse and processing center will provide services that help manufacturers comply with U.S. labeling and packaging codes. Much of that activity now happens in Chicago, where the process can be slower and more costly.

Local officials hope the project will lead to additional investment and economic opportunity along the rail corridor.

Groundbreaking on the facility is set for July 2.

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