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County getting funding boost

Thursday, December 27, 2012 - Updated: 7:51 AM

By HEATHER NELLIS

For the C-S-E

GLEN — There can’t be fish without water, and the Glen Canal View Business Park has plenty to accommodate a state-of-the-art aquaculture facility that officials say will transform Montgomery County.

With a $1.4 million boost in economic development funding promised by the state last week, and $55 million in low-rate, multi-year power contracts, Tech Mar NY LLC is expected to build a $50 million, 800,000 square foot building in the park this year.

“We wanted to build in New York,” said company Executive Director Marlene Mullins. “I thank Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, and the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council for their support to help us do that.”

The project will create 175 jobs for skilled laborers, chemists and biologists who will help raise 17 million pounds of fish annually.

“We want to make a difference in the community,” Mullins said. “We want to hire local laborers as much as possible, and hope to significantly help with the county’s unemployment rate.”

Mullins said in addition to selling wholesale and retail seafood products, the company is having preliminary discussions with Cornell University about using a portion of the building as a teaching facility.

Montgomery County Economic Development Director Ken Rose said the project is unique because it’s tapping into the region’s resources, but this time, it’s not municipal water, rather it’s natural groundwater.

“The aquifer we found met the quality and quantity standards they need,” Rose said.

The project seems like a perfect fit for the site — its 235 acres are surrounded by wetlands, but it has a 120-acre workable footprint, which Rose said is enough space to fit the proposed structure.

The Industrial Development Agency has been working with the state Department of Environ-mental Conservation and the Army Corps of Engineers for several years to study both wetland and wildlife mitigation at that site, said Rose, the IDA’s CEO.

“Now, with a specific client, we can take that process to the next level with those agencies,” he said. “It’s all still in process to work through some of the wetland issues that are there, but with the potential for 175 jobs in a $50 million facility in the town of Glen, it’s extremely beneficial for the county and surrounding region.”

Mullins said she’s hoping to start construction mid-winter, early spring.  

Rose said in reality, with winter weather on its way, and permitting, even on a fast-track scenario, the project likely can’t start for six to seven months. The company will have to acquire permits from the Glen town Planning Board, and the aforementioned state agencies.

If the project is successful, it will represent the first phase, as the company hopes to construct two other buildings in the future for a total $175 million investment.

     

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