Opponents to a proposed CSX terminal in Johnston County are unhappy after learning that local and state officials plan to tour a CSX intermodal terminal in Ohio on Wednesday.
WTSB News received a tip about the flight late-Tuesday. Johnston County officials confirmed to us a group of local and state representatives will fly out of RDU Airport Wednesday morning to tour the CSX facility then return Wednesday night. Chris Johnson, Economic Development Director for Johnston County said the NC Department of Commerce put together the trip and not CSX.
Johnston County Commissioner Ted Godwin of Selma said he would be on the flight, taking the place of another commissioner who could not go due to a schedule conflict. Johnson said he would asked to accompany Commissioner Godwin.
“I’ve seen the facility,” Johnson said Tuesdayafternoon. “Some local officials have indicated their willingness to see what it is about firsthand versus seeing the photos. I have not seen an itinerary yet.”
Randy Johnson who helped organize Monday night’s protest in Four Oaks against CSX learned about the trip from WTSB News. “Our community don’t want it. They can fly anywhere they want to go. Get out there and get dirty in it.”
Randy Johnson said the trip speaks for itself. “It says they are not listening to the community, and the county commissioners and town boards are all puppets for the project coming here. They were all scared to come last night. They did not want to face the people’s lives they are going to destroy.”
He did thank Johnston County Commissioners Tony Braswell and Chad Stewart, County Manager Rick Hester and Four Oaks Commissioner Chris Haley for attending, but said the majority of the elected officials in the county, including the chambers that endorsed the project, stayed away. “The four got to hear it. If they can not relay the message sent last night then they have already made up their minds.”
“The people is not in charge anymore. They are not representing the people.”
As for the tour of the CSX terminal in Ohio on Wednesday, Johnson said, “They didn’t invite me to fly with them. Why not let the citizens of Four Oaks go? We’re the ones that’s got to live with it. And Micro too. They didn’t get an invitation.”
WTSB reached out to CSX Tuesday afternoon for a comment about the tour and an update on the proposed terminal. They did not respond by our news deadline.