Written by The Business Journal Staff
A diverse group of local community and business leaders have formed a coalition to support Madera County’s bid to land the highly coveted High-Speed Rail Authority’s heavy maintenance facility.
The coalition — called Wye Madera County —kicked off its efforts by unveiling a new website (www.wyemaderacounty.com) and informational video on Tuesday.
The coalition’s membership includes individuals from the County of Madera, the City of Madera, the Madera Unified School District, the Madera County Economic Development Commission, the City of Chowchilla, the Madera County Workforce Development Board and the Madera Association of Realtors.
In a press release issued Tuesday, the coalition calls Madera County “the cheaper, faster and smarter” location for the heavy maintenance facility due to its “cost-effective sites, existing industrial zoning, central location and regional economic benefits.”
“We want the heavy maintenance facility to have a seamless launch,” said Wye Madera County member and Madera County Supervisor Brett Frazier. “Shovel-ready sites will decrease long-term operational costs and save money on costs associated with land acquisition and land use approvals. By saving time and money, the residents of our region will be allowed to work in this facility sooner rather than later, which will benefit all Californians.”
Madera County is located near the Wye, which will serve as a main junction for the high-speed rail system by connecting the Central Valley to San Francisco Bay Area-, Sacramento- and Southern California-bound trains.
Additionally, in contrast to other Central Valley counties vying for the heavy maintenance facility, the coalition, in its release, stated that “Madera County is offering single parcel sites that are connected to existing infrastructure. One such site is on Avenue 12, which is zoned industrial. “
“Locating the heavy maintenance facility in the center of the region through a Madera County site will give residents in Merced, Fresno and other nearby counties employment opportunities, which will help lift up our local economies,” said Madera County Supervisor and Wye Madera County member Max Rodriguez.
The Rail Authority is expected to announce the location of the heavy maintenance facility later this year.