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“Two new Thurston County sites and one in Lewis County are being studied for a multimillion dollar rail logistics center. The sites are in addition to a Maytown site under consideration for the development by the ports of Tacoma and Olympia…

On Monday, Tacoma officials released a study of three other sites they consider workable for such a cargo facility, which has drawn strong opposition from hundreds of Maytown-area residents.

The ports will present their findings at a public meeting beginning at 6 Thursday night at the Worthington Center at Saint Martin’s University.

Final development sites under consideration are:

Maytown: A BNSF Railway track runs along the east side of the 745-acre site and Tacoma Rail tracks cross the property. The site, two miles east of Interstate 5, used to be a munitions plant and is permitted for gravel mining. It’s adjacent to property owned by the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Beaver Creek is located along the southern border.

Offut Lake site: This site adjacent to the Maytown site consists of 847 acres in Thurston County on the west side of Offut Lake, which is surrounded by residential development, according to the study. A part of the site also is permitted for gravel mining. The site is about six miles from I-5 and near BNSF and Tacoma Rail tracks. The Deschutes River crosses the northern portion of the site.

Tenino site: About 1,057 acres in Thurston county. Some of the site also is permitted for gravel mining. The study notes that a ranch, a few homes and gravel pit structures border the site. It’s about 1 mile from BNSF tracks and 5.5 miles east of I-5. Scatter Creek borders the southern and eastern portions…

The ports want a cargo facility where they can transfer cargo from trucks to rail to avoid traffic tie-ups, and resulting delayed deliveries, on I-5 and other Western Washington highways. But Maytown-area residents have been concerned the project will reduce their property values, worsen traffic and air quality, threaten endangered wildlife and be noisy…

Regardless, a spokeswoman for upset Maytown-area residents known as Friends of Rocky Prairie said she was inclined to believe Tacoma was serious only about the Maytown site. If the Port of Tacoma was serious about other sites, opposition leader Sharron Coontz said it would not publicly have identified them to avoid the risk of causing land speculation that would raise the price of land…

At Maytown, county officials would have to grant a rezoning and variance to allow a cargo facility to be built more than a half mile from I-5. Coontz predicted results of the study will only increase opposition to the project. She estimated about 1,100 South Thurston County residents oppose the project.

‘We already have a huge united group,’ she said. ‘Threatening to move it a few miles will only increase our numbers and our strength,'” quoting The Olympian.

WHEN: This Thursday, Jan 31st 6-9 pm
Study Session followed by PUBLIC COMMENT!

WHERE: The Worthington Center at St. Martin’s College

Posted by Steve on January 30, 2008 at 6:14 am | Permalink

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One comment

  1. Thank you, Steve. This is a very important meeting!

    Comment by christine on January 31, 2008 at 1:48 am

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