By LOHR McKINSTRY, Press-Republican
---- — ELIZABETHTOWN — Essex County lawmakers gave preliminary OK Monday to tax breaks for a meat-processing plant planned for Ticonderoga.
The slaughterhouse would be located adjacent to the existing Ticonderoga Commerce Park, with construction of a 7,500-square-foot building to start this summer.
Essex County Industrial Development Agency Co-Director Jody Olcott said her agency recommended a 10-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement. The project would pay no property taxes the first two years, 50 percent the third then the figure would be increased gradually to 95 percent of full taxation the 10th and last year.
“We evaluated the project based on location, need, community support, investment, economic impact,” Olcott said. “We felt the need to reduce overhead expenses for the first few years (of the plant) was considerable.”
FINAL VOTE IN AUGUST
The owners of Adirondack Meat Company are Peter and Denise Ward; the property is owned by Bruce and Karen Crammond.
The $1.2 million project would be partly funded with an IDA loan, using an $800,000 tax-exempt bond.
“The IDA Board felt it warranted the incentives we were offering the project,” Olcott said.
The PILOT agreement received a unanimous OK from the County Board of Supervisors’ Economic Development Committee on Monday. It will get another vote at July 30 Ways and Means session, and if approved then, a final vote at the August board meeting.
‘VERY MUCH NEEDED’
Olcott said the plant, which still awaits U.S. Department of Agriculture approval, would create the equivalent of 13 full-time jobs, with an average salary of $30,000 a year.
It would process 10 animals a day, which could be increased up to a capacity of 50, she said.
“They will be receiving animals from all around the region. It’s a very humane process.”
The Meat Company would retail meat right at the plant, she said.
“It has significant expansion opportunities.”
The plant would begin taking animals once USDA approval was received.
“There is no meat-processing plant in the North Country,” Supervisor Gerald Morrow (D-Chesterfield) said. “This was very much needed. Farmers had to travel (for meat processing).”
The other two tax-levying bodies, Ticonderoga Town Council and Ticonderoga Central School Board, will vote on the PILOT at separate meetings on Thursday, Olcott said.
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