BNSF certifies Springs Park

Marshall County and Holly Springs received good news last week regarding a 1,200-acre site alongside the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.

Justin Hall, executive director of the Marshall County Industrial Development Authority, said BNSF has certified the site, which means it is shovel-ready and accessible to BNSF rail service.

Certification is a set of parameters followed to assure the property is ready for development of large industrial projects, he said.

It requires extensive site due diligence which includes satisfactory environmental studies, cultural and resource studies, endangered species studies and wetland studies, Hall said.

“They also assume utilities are on site to the levels required to serve industrial customers,” he said.

Certification also means the location will likely attract big manufacturing projects that need access to rail. Rail services means manufacturers can receive shipments of raw materials via rail and can ship out finished products by rail. Rail transportation is cheaper than over the road or air for manufacturers.

The 1,200-acre site in Holly Springs is also accessible to Interstate 22, and not far from I-269 in Byhalia.

The entire park has over 2,000 acres, the rest near the Holly Springs/Marshall County Airport.

“Having various modes of transportation is attractive to diversified industrial development,” Hall said.

Springs Industrial Park is a joint venture of Marshall County and Holly Springs.

Holly Springs Mayor Kelvin Buck is very excited about the BNSF certification.

“It’s a huge development for us economically,” he said. “To be BNSF certified is a tremendous boost to our economic future.

“It places us in the national spotlight for potential development.

“I am very excited about this and I want to thank Justin Hall, Marshall County IDA, and the Marshall County Board of Supervisors for working with us to get it.”

Holly Springs Alderman Mark Miller was gladdened by the news. He has been working three years with the steering committee to get the Springs Industrial Park off the ground.

“So many people have worked on this Springs Industrial project, it’s impossible to name everybody who has had a positive impact, including the planning and development of the industrial park,” he said.

“Christy (Owens) and I represent the city and are on the steering committee for the Springs Industrial Park. That’s how I knew about it.

“It’s been a fascinating process watching the park develop from an idea to now something being endorsed by BNSF as a viable site to locate large industry. And the cooperation between the city board and the board of supervisors has been crucial for this project.

“TVA, our utility department (HSUD) and Bill Stone, and the public works director, Will Denton, are involved on the steering committee as well. I’m sorry that (the late) Del Stover is not here today to see it. He worked tirelessly at IDA and with the city to create the Springs Industrial Park.

Stover served on the IDA board of directors and as interim executive director during his tenure with IDA.

Russell Johnson is chairman of that committee and Al Beck is on the committee as well as Ken Jones and Larry Hall with the county board of supervisors.

“People may not realize how big it is,” Miller said. “BNSF is actively marketing our park through their website, bnsf.com. Go to certified sites for details about the site.”

“It’s a welcoming sight,” said District 1 supervisor Charles Terry. “I think it is very important to have this as a catalyst and we are one of six new BNSF-certified sites. Four of the new certified sites are the first for their state in Arizona, Minnesota, Mississippi and Missouri. It will accelerate growth in the park and in the county.”

Two of the six new certified sites are in Illinois.

In order to be considered for the designation, sites must undergo a thorough analysis, which includes an evaluation of environmental and geotechnical standards, available utilities, site availability and existing and projected infrastructure, according to businesswire.com.

An aerial view of the site is available on this site as well as the site profile, demographics, utilities, zoning and price range for per acre. It is zoned light industrial.

Springs Industrial Park in Holly Springs is located just north of Interstate 22 and about 40 miles southeast of Memphis International Airport.

The Springs Industrial Park site has more than 1,200 acres available for development near the BNSF Railroad.

Holly Springs South Reporter

P.O. Box 278
Holly Springs, MS 38635
PH: (662) 252-4261
FAX: (662) 252-3388
www.southreporter.com

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