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Cortland County I-D-A Finalizes Byrne Dairy Tax Breaks, Construction Could Begin in April
Friday, March 22, 2013
Cortland County I-D-A Finalizes Byrne Dairy Tax Breaks, Construction Could Begin in April
The Cortland County Industrial Development Agency has granted final approval for millions worth of tax breaks for the planned Byrne Dairy yogurt and cheese manufacturing plant in Cortlandville.
 
Prior to issuing the final approval for over $3.5 million in tax payer supported benefits the I-D-A held a public hearing at the Cortlandville Town Hall, no one spoke at the required hearing.
 
Dairy processor Byrne Dairy is looking to build a 63 thousand square foot manufacturing plant at the Finger Lakes East Business Park on Route 13. The company is also looking to create a tourist destination at there, including an agritourism center complete with live cows to showcase how their products are brought from the farm, processed, and turned into finished goods.
 
Byrne Dairy is purchasing the entire 127 acre business park for $1.1 million; it cost $4.5 million to develop the site.
 
The first phase of the project carries a $30 million dollar price tag, in exchange for the investment the county I-D-A has granted the company a $320 thousand dollar break in sales taxes on construction materials, a $250 thousand dollar waiver of the mortgage recording tax, and 20 year property tax abatement worth $2.9 million. Byrne Dairy will pay $1.6 million in taxes with PILOT in place; they would pay $4.5 million without the incentive.
 
The project is expected to create 78 full time jobs over the next five years, 60 of those positions will be in manufacturing in addition to 18 agritourism jobs.
 
Byrne Dairy’s General Counselor and project manager Jim Goshier say the incentive package is key to helping the company maintain some cost certainty as it builds out here in Cortland County.
 
The company has also applied for financial incentives and grants through the Empire State Development Agency and the State’s Small Cities Grant Program. Those awards have not yet been approved.
 
The project was approved by the County planning board Wednesday night, the board asked the company to develop a management plan for the planned amphitheatre that will also be located on the site to host concerts and other events.
 
In addition there were some questions about the project’s impact on the City Waste Water Treatment Facility. Goshier says the company is working hand in hand with the city, the current waste digester can handle the fats and solids, and the city is looking to upgrade the digester in the future to begin generating electricity from the Byrne Dairy by-products.
 
Goshier says he expects site work and excavation will begin within the next couple weeks, the project still needs town planning approval as well as an aquifer protection permit, those approvals are expected by the end of the month and the beginning of April.
 
The plant may be up and running by next January.
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