Chenango IDA still looking for local funding for possible $5M federal railroad repair grant

NORWICH – Nobody wants to be the first to commit local share funds to the latest effort to restore New York Susquehanna & Western Railroad’s Utica Main Line from Chenango Forks to Sherburne, including the privately held railroad itself.

The Chenango County Industrial Development Agency is in line to receive a federal special disaster grant of nearly $5 million to repair portions of the line that were originally damaged when an historic, 100-year flood devastated the region back in 2006. The tracks were further damaged during Tropical Storm Lee last year.

The grant requires a $320,000 match, however, and even with New York Senator Charles Schumer’s recent advocation for the grant, no parties have stepped up to the plate as of yet. No action has followed a request for support from the Chenango County Planning and Economic Development Committee. Commerce Chenango Executive Director Steve Craig floated the idea of funding a portion of the gap, or $150,000, to them last month. Other parties that could logically be contacted for support, he said, are the Utica Main Line, the New York State Department of Transportation, the CCIDA, Development Chenango, and Broome, Madison and Oneida counties.

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