That’s the word Manheim Town Supervisor John Haughton used to sum up his thoughts on a GateHouse New York report that a meat processing facility previously proposed for the Frankfort 5S South Business Park is now looking at sites in Madison County.
Manheim’s Barker Road Industrial Park was offered as a potential landing spot for Full Circle Packing’s $18 million facility that would slaughter, process and package dairy cull and bob veal after the Frankfort Town Council unanimously disapproved of the project, but company officials have since said the business park is not what they are looking for.
“I don’t blame them,” Hauhgton said of Full Circle Packing’s decision to look west.
“A business is not going to go where it’s not wanted, and the town of Frankfort made their position on the matter very clear,” Haughton added during Tuesday evening’s meeting of the Manheim Town Council. “It’s disappointing, because as a taxpayer of this county and as a person who is involved in agriculture, I would have liked to have seen the plant and its 65 jobs in Herkimer County. That doesn’t seem like it is going to happen.”
The Frankfort Town Council voted 4-0 against Full Circle Packing’s proposal in August.
Town Supervisor Joseph Kinney cited multiple reasons for the council’s decision, including the facility not being an “allowable use” in the business park’s zoning district.
David Mondi, of Full Circle Packing, expressed concerns over the lack of opportunity for the company to present its plan prior to the council’s vote. “I just find it to be completely and totally unprofessional,” he said. “They opposed a project they know nothing about.”
While Full Circle Packing brought engineers to a Frankfort Town Planning Board meeting in September to learn more about the necessary paperwork, they had not yet met with the town council - which has the final say on what goes into the business park.
Kinney said as soon as the council saw “food processing and slaughterhouse” on a project survey from the county’s Industrial Development Agency in regard to Full Circle Packing’s intent, “… our reaction was ‘no, we don’t want that in the park.’”
“I hope how the company was treated in Frankfort didn’t sour them on the rest of Herkimer County, because the town of Manheim is more than willing to work with them,” said Haugton. “I hope this company does not judge all of the towns in Herkimer County based on how they were treated in Frankfort. I also hope this doesn’t hurt Herkimer County when it comes to attracting other businesses.”
Page 2 of 2 - Kinney has said he would like for the Frankfort 5S South Business Park to host subcontractors and parts manufacturers for the nanotechnology plant at SUNYIT.
The Herkimer County IDA owns the Barker Road Industrial Park.
In other business Tuesday evening, Haughton reported four developers have submitted proposals to the Public Service Commission for consideration. He said after the proposals are reviewed, the PSC would accept public comment on the project that would result in the construction of electrical transmission lines in the town of Manheim.
“As I said before, the PSC has the authority to make the decision. The town, the planning board, the zoning board do not have any authority when it comes to whether the project will go through or not,” he said.
“It is my opinion that when it comes time for negotiations the county should fight to have the rates lowered here, as the lines are going to run through our towns and county. It is common practice that when new lines are constructed the communities where they new lines are installed have their rates increased, while the communities that receive the power the lines carry have their rates reduced. It should be the opposite. It is my belief that the communities that want the power should have to pay for it,” he added.
GateHouse New York reporter Amanda Fries contributed to this report