CSX Meets With Local Leaders, No Announcement Made

WTSB News has confirmed CSX representatives were in Smithfield Thursday afternoon for a meeting with local and state officials.

The meeting was held in a conference room at the Johnston County Airport.

Chris Johnson CSXChris Johnson, Johnston County’s Economic Development Director, said business leaders, chamber representatives, and officials from the local and state level were on hand to get an update about the CSX project. Among the discussions were what a group of local leaders saw on Wednesday after they flew to the NW Ohio CSX intermodal terminal.

At the meeting, CSX reportedly said they had been approached by dozens of towns in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia about the project since the original announcement was made in January.  Johnson said CSX said they were not in any position to make an announcement at any location and did not give a timeline.

Johnson also said CSX did not indicate a time frame when they would be making an announcement.

Last week, Four Oaks Mayor Linwood Parker met with an attorney working with CSX and asked the railroad to make a decision by today (Friday) but that did not happen.

CSX announced three months ago they wanted to build a major hub near Micro, but opposition soon began to grow after residents learned their land could be taken through the use of eminent domain.  A second site near Four Oaks was then identified by local leaders. Whether one or both sites remain under consideration has not been disclosed.