Appalachian Railcar Services, Inc. , a railcar repair and maintenance company, plans to invest $1.4 million to locate a new facility in Earl Park, Indiana
, creating up to 22 new jobs by 2015.
Founded in 2000, ARS has grown to offer rail services including coal loading and unloading, unit train handling, railcar storage, rail maintenance and railcar leasing. The Eleanor, W. Va.-headquartered company will lease, construct and equip a 8,000 square-foot facility located at 700 N. US Highway 41 in Earl Park. The facility, which will be operational by December, will give the company additional resources for railcar storage and repairs.
“ARS is very excited and blessed to have been able to secure this site in order to grow our business and become a responsible business citizen for the Benton County community,” said Kurt Higginbotham, president and chief executive officer of ARS. “We appreciate the state and the Benton County Economic Development Department for their guidance and assistance with this project. Our current customer base is very interested in this location because of the access we have to the multiple Class I railroads. We anticipate a robust business that will sustain us and benefit the local community for many years to come.”
“With our state’s expansive railway system, logistics and railcar repair companies like ARS find the resources they need in the Hoosier State to grow and thrive,” said Victor Smith, Indiana Secretary of Commerce. “Indiana is a state that works not only because of our low taxes and pro-growth policies, but because of the foundation of connectively that companies find here, whether it’s through rail, highway, boat or plane.”
ARS plans to bring the existing rail at its new Benton County site up to industry standards and tie it into the existing KBSR short line railroad, which will service the company’s new facility.
As an incentive, Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Appalachian Railcar Services, Inc up to $27,500 in training grants and $100,000 for infrastructure improvements based on the company’s job creation plans. These incentives are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. Benton County approved additional infrastructure incentives at the request Benton County Economic Development.
“The Benton County commissioners are excited about Appalachian Rail Services bringing more jobs to Benton County and the revitalization of the rail system in Sheff,” said Benton County Commissioner Bryan Berry. “It’s a perfect fit for ARS and Benton County, where as agriculture and small business can succeed and thrive in a small community. We look forward to a long and prosperous future.”