Press-Republican

December 22, 2012

State helps Ticonderoga and Moriah economic development projects

LOHR McKINSTRY
Press-Republican

TICONDEROGA — The fledgling Adirondack Meat Company is getting $300,000 in state funds to build a 7,500-square-foot meat processing plant and retail store in Ticonderoga Commerce Park.

The grant will support the agricultural sector by providing access to a local processing facility for livestock; it was one of numerous state grants totaling $90.2 million won for the region through the North Country Regional Economic Development Council and announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this week.

“It’s good news for Ticonderoga and the region,” Ticonderoga Town Supervisor Debra Malaney said. “With their funding in place, they can get started on the project.”

The Adirondack Meat Company project would be the first USDA-certified meat processing facility inside the Adirondack Park. According to the company, the business will employ 12 full-time and two part-time workers.

Essex County Industrial Development Agency Chairman Darren Darrah said a meat processor has been a need for many years in the North Country.

“When Adirondack Meat Company approached the Essex County IDA, we knew this was a win-win project for both the company and the region as a whole. This new company will not only provide a much needed service, but also entice agricultural operations to start or grow in the North Country.”

The owners of Adirondack Meat Company are Peter and Denise Ward, who also operate Brookwood RV Park and Snug Harbor Marina in Ticonderoga.

The $1.4 million project is also eligible for up to $800,000 from an Essex County Industrial Development Agency loan using a tax-exempt bond, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Rural Development approved the plant for a Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan of up to $900,000.

BOAT-BUILDER EXPANSION

Also in Ticonderoga, Hacker Boat Co. got $600,000 for a facility expansion so it can stay in town. The company had considered moving to Queensbury but will now expand its current facility to meet demands for manufacturing larger boats. The firm says it will invest $5.4 million and create 31 new jobs.

Located in the former Delmar Box plant on Burgoyne Road, Hacker has another facility in Hague’s Silver Bay hamlet on Lake George.

Ticonderoga made out well in the grant awards, with another $1.75 million going to International Paper’s mill there to convert its existing oil-fired power plant to natural gas. The company has an agreement with Vermont Gas to extend a proposed Middlebury, Vt., natural-gas line another 10.5 miles, under Lake Champlain and west to the mill.

Both the IP and meat processor grants are very important to the region, IDA Co-Director Carol Calabrese said in an email.

“By increasing value-added production of wood products and agriculture goods in the region, it will then raise the prospective industry’s earnings and collectively contribute to the regional and state economy. 

“The Adirondack Meat Company is a new USDA meat processing facility that will help ensure the safety, reliability and sustainability of the North Country’s independent food supply.”

WATERFRONT STABILIZATION

Another three grants go to the Town of Moriah and Village of Port Henry.

Moriah will be able to start its waterfront stabilization project with the $250,000 it got, Town Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava said.

The Bulwagga Bay Town Campground and Public Beach have been washing away, imperiling the existence of both facilities. The project, which has been approved by the Adirondack Park Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will create revetments extending into the lake to protect the shoreline.

“This is great news for the community and the region,” Scozzafava said. “Bulwagga Bay Campground benefits the town of Moriah and the North Country, since the campers that are here are seasonals (visitors). It’s a good project.”

He said the entire shoreline on Bulwagga Bay will erode away if something isn’t done.

“We’ve lost a considerable amount of shoreline and campsites. That’s hurt our income down there.”

The Moriah Town Council recently passed a resolution to have the design for the work completed and will now issue a request for proposals for engineering, Scozzafava said.

“We should have that sometime in January. Once we hire the engineer, we’ll go to bid.”

By fall, construction will get under way, he said. The $250,000 covers about half of the project’s estimated cost, but the town has applied for other grants and will be able to do a lot of the work with in-kind services, he said.

PORT HENRY INFRASTRUCTURE

In addition, the Town of Moriah received $200,000 to create a Lake Champlain Non-Point-Source Pollution Sub-Watershed Assessment and Management Plan.

Working with the Champlain Watershed Improvement Coalition of New York, the town will develop the plan to prioritize water-quality improvements for sub-watersheds in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Warren and Washington counties.

The Village of Port Henry also got $600,000 from the council to replace 1,371 linear feet of water line and 1,686 feet of sewer line and install eight new fire hydrants. The village’s application was made via the Essex County Office of Community Development.

Another $150,000 goes to the Housing Assistance Program of Essex County to renovate a historic building located at 4316 Main St. in the Village of Port Henry. The award will be used to redevelop the building as a mixed-use property with retail on the first floor and two senior-citizen apartments on the second.

The Housing Assistance Program also owns the Lee House next door to the targeted property, operating it as a senior assisted-living project.

Email Lohr McKinstry: lmckinstry@pressrepublican.com