FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 3, 2012
SCHUMER SECURES FEDERAL FUNDS FOR KEY INFRASTRUCTURE WORK AT PEPSI’S WAVE SITE – WATER SYSTEM UPGRADES HELP PAVE THE WAY FOR MAJOR YOGURT FACTORY
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that he had secured a $105,500 grant for the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park to make critical water infrastructure upgrades at the site that will host the new Project Pepsi WAVE yogurt plant and other major food producers. The funding, awarded to the Town of Batavia by the U.S. Department of Agriculture with Schumer’s support, will help fund the completion of an essential pump station as well as other wet well upgrades. This work will increase the park’s wastewater system’s capacity so that it can support Pepsi WAVE, Alpina and other tenants. It will also help position the Park to attract new businesses such as Genesee Valley Mushroom which has interest in building a 70,000 sq ft mushroom growing facility that would employ approximately 100 workers.
“Plants need water to grow, and so does the Genesee County Agri-Business Park,” said Schumer. “These essential federal funds will pave the way for major water infrastructure upgrades, helping to sprout hundreds of new jobs in Western New York. The Agri-Business Park is going to be a huge driver of jobs and economic growth, and it’s clear that USDA agrees we need to make this investment to create jobs and new markets for our farms and dairies.”
“The Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park and the growth we are seeing from this very strategic economic development project, spearheaded by the Genesee County EDC, has been fostered by a great community partnership and collaboration by many public and private sector partners,” said Batavia Town Supervisor Greg Post. “We very much appreciate and want to thank USDA Rural Development, along with the support and advocacy from Senator Schumer, for this very important funding commitment which will enable upgrades in the wastewater treatment pump station in the Ag Park thereby enabling the continued growth and success of several businesses that have located at the park and several others that are planning on locating there.”
A copy of Schumer’s letter to Secretary Vilsack in support of the projects appears below:
Dear Secretary Vilsack,
On behalf of Genesee County, New York, the Genesee Gateway Local Development Corporation (GGLDC) and the Town of Batavia, New York I want to convey my strong support of three applications recently submitted by these entities to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Business Enterprise Grant program.
As first discussed in my January 24, 2012 letter, I have been assisting Genesee County, the GGLDC and the Town of Batavia to collaboratively bring new jobs and investment to the region at various shovel ready sites throughout the county, including the 200 acre Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park (GVAB) in Batavia, NY. The USDA’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant program, with its mission to finance infrastructure investments to improve the economy and quality of life in rural or agricultural regions, is tailor-made to help complete the critical upgrades needed to enable the GVAB’s development.
Specifically the funding proposed in these applications would be used to complete additional infrastructure improvements at the GVAB to create a cluster of both large and young emerging companies in the food processing and production industry. For example, the infrastructure funded with this grant will support planned development of a jointly owned yogurt production facility by Pepsico and TheoMuller Gmbh as well as the construction of Alpina’s yogurt/food processing facility, and a new 5,000 square foot facility which will be home to Marktec, a food container labeling technology company. These companies will be significant economic impact to the region. The $208 million Pepsico/TheoMuller Gmbh facility alone will create approximately 186 jobs initially while Alpina’s planned 40,000 sq ft facility will initially employ 50 individuals.
Moreover, this additional infrastructure is critically important to enable the applicants to bring yet another company to the area. Specifically, the investments would help incent Genesee Valley Mushrooms to build its first production facility in the United States. The GVAB Park is a natural location for food processing companies such as Genesee Valley Mushrooms which has interest in building a 70,000 sq ft mushroom growing facility at the GVAB that would employ approximately 100 workers.
Just as important to these exciting economic development initiatives is the fact that the GVAB will offer tremendous opportunities for the local dairy industry. New York is the third largest dairy producer in the United States with 40 percent of milk production coming from dairy farms in the 15-county western New York region of which Genesee County is at the epicenter.
The support of the USDA in awarding these grants will continue the exciting economic development successes that are occurring in this part of Upstate New York. Again, I am pleased to strongly support these applications and encourage the USDA to give these applications full and fair consideration. Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator
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