New York’s Port of Oswego Wins $4 Million Federal Grant
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Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo has announced a $4 million economic development grant to New York’s Port of Oswego to buy new cargo-handling equipment and improve rail infrastructure to increase U.S. exports.
“The Biden-Harris administration’s Investing in America agenda is improving our infrastructure and strengthening American supply chain resilience,” Raimondo said, noting that the funding is from the department’s Economic Development Administration.
She said the EDA investment will increase export capacity at the Port of Oswego and bring new regional economic opportunities. The federal dollars will be matched by $1 million in local funds. The port project is expected to create 19 jobs and generate $50,000 in private investment.
The EDA grant will help offset the costs of buying a radial telescopic shiploader (often used for barge cargo) to provide extra cargo equipment and upgrading the port’s railroad track. It has a CSX rail link to Syracuse.
According to the Port of Oswego Authority, it handles nearly 120 vessels and more than 1 million tons of cargo annually. Located on the southeastern portion of Lake Ontario, the port is ice-free and receives vessels year-round from ports on the Great Lakes and internationally. The Port of Oswego provides important access to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway shipping lanes through a single port facility. It also is linked to New York’s canal system through the Oswego Canal.
The regional intermodal system includes the port, a CSX intermodal rail freight center, Syracuse Hancock International Airport and interstates 81 and 90.
Alejandra Castillo, assistant commerce secretary, said, “This strategic, place-based project will support regional business growth by expanding their reach to wider domestic and global markets.”
Castillo said EDA is working “hand-in-hand with local communities to support their bottom-up, middle-out economic development strategies.”
A strong supporter of the Port of Oswego, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) applauded the EDA grant that will boost export capacity, “enhancing its ability to serve local farmers, food producers and businesses” that rely on the port.
Schumer said the port “can now go full-steam ahead on purchasing new equipment and upgrading their site, leading to more jobs, better service to customers and new business. I am proud to deliver the federal funding to help grow the port’s operations in the region, ease our supply chain issues and upgrade the port’s infrastructure to keep their presence strong in central New York for generations to come.”
He said it is vital that the Port of Oswego has necessary resources and equipment due to its economic contributions to central New York and the state’s economy.
The central New York region spans 3,622 square miles in a mixture of rural farming communities, small towns and urban areas. It is close to Rochester, Buffalo and Albany and about a five-hour drive to New York City, Boston and Philadelphia as well as the Canadian cities of Montreal and Toronto.
“The Port of Oswego is a vital trade hub that links central New York businesses with the rest of the world,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D). “This EDA investment will support critical infrastructure and equipment upgrades that will help the port expand its export capacity and greatly benefit the local economy.”
Although a 2021 fact sheet from the American Great Lakes Ports Association lists the top cargo at the Port of Oswego as asphalt, sand, gravel, cement and aluminum, it also handles agricultural goods.
The most recent New York State Transportation Plan noted that the Port of Oswego Authority “has been aggressively working to increase business,” including identifying infrastructure investments for current operations and future growth. Its project list includes improving the east and west terminal piers, expanding ship berth on a northern side, obtaining a mobile harbor crane and converting part of a transit warehouse for grain storage and shipments.
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The Port of Oswego, which operates grain export facilities, has plans to establish a Central New York Agriculture Export Center.
“Funded by a $15 million grant from New York state, this project will allow for over 500,000 bushels of grain to be stored and for direct rail/ship and truck loading as well as container loading. The new facility will allow the port to meet grain export needs in the Great Lakes and make cost-effective shipping in a proximate location available to farmers in the region,” stated the port authority’s 2021 “Vision 2030 Comprehensive Plan.”
Rep. Claudia Tenney called the EDA grant, which she helped secure, an investment that will help “bring our local agricultural and manufactured goods to global markets.”
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