TICONDEROGA — A proposed meat-processing plant in Ticonderoga has won Adirondack Park Agency approval.
The APA Board of Commissioners has OK’d the Adirondack Meat Company project, which will be the first U.S. Department of Agriculture-certified meat-processing facility inside the Adirondack Park.
According to the Meat Company, the business will employ 12 full-time and two part-time employees. The company anticipates the project will support jobs for 24 full-time and six part-time workers in related industries.
The Adirondack Meat Company will be located in the Town of Ticonderoga, on land n
ow owned by Bruce and Karen Crammond adjacent to the agency-approved Ticonderoga Commerce Park. A 7,500-square-foot metal building will be constructed for use as the plant.
The APA set restrictions that the meat processing facility will operate only Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will process a maximum of 10 animals per day, primarily beef cattle, but will also have the capacity to accept pigs, goats and sheep.
“This new industrial use addresses the serious need for a meat-processing facility inside the Adirondack Park,” Park Agency Chairwoman Leilani Ulrich said in a news release.
“Presently, a lack of this type of facility in proximity to North Country farms and the limited capacity of regional processing facilities has prevented industry growth. The development of this meat-processing facility will support the expansion of the cattle-production industry and local direct-market farming.”
Ulrich said a 2010 study by Cornell Cooperative Extension found that North Country farmers had the potential to increase beef production by 137 percent if another meat-processing facility were available.
The owners of Adirondack Meat Company are Peter and Denise Ward, who also operate the Best Western Resort and Suites, Brookwood RV Park and Snug Harbor Marina, all in Ticonderoga.
“We are excited to develop this project in New York and specifically in Ticonderoga,” Mr. Ward said in a release. “We believe there is a critical need for this type of facility in the region. The Park Agency quickly and diligently reviewed the project in six months, helping us realize our goals in a very timely manner.”
APA Executive Director Terry Martino said putting the meat plant near the Commerce Park was the right location. The 22-acre farm field it will be located in is now classified Moderate Intensity Use by the agency.
“This is the right project in the right location at a most opportunistic time,” she said in the release. “The Adirondack Meat Company has the potential to be a transformational project for the agricultural industry, especially for small-scale farming operations inside the Adirondack Park.”
APA said that since all activities will occur inside the building, and no outside pasturing areas or waste-disposal areas are proposed, impact to adjacent land uses will be minimized. All renderings and by-products will be stored in freezers and collected weekly, to minimize odors from the facility.
As is required at all such facilities, a USDA inspector will be on site and have an office in the building, to ensure compliance with federal regulations.
Construction on the plant is expected to start soon, and finish in September, with opening to await USDA approval. The Essex County Industrial Development Agency is issuing $800,000 in tax-exempt bonds to help fund the project.
‘WILL CREATE JOBS’
Ticonderoga Town Supervisor Debra Malaney said Friday she’s extremely supportive of the project.
“I’m absolutely in favor of it. It will create jobs. It will be very well done. Their (Ward’s) other enterprises have been first class all the way. We don’t expect any less of this meat processing.”
She said she hasn’t heard from anyone who is opposed to the project.
“I have had phone calls from people asking for more information. They seem more receptive when they know the details.”
Not just meat, but other local products will be sold at the plant’s store, she said.
“It will offer organic products, meats and cheeses.”
Animals for the facility are expected to be brought from an 80-mile radius around it.
“It fills a void in the region,” Malaney said. “There’s a six-month wait for people who raise beef to get their animals processed and to the market.
“That’s one of the reasons the APA was very supportive.”
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