By Dan Hust
LIBERTY Crossing a significant hurdle, the Industrial Development Agency’s (IDA’s) proposed red meat processing facility earned conditional site plan approval from the Village of Liberty Planning Board on Thursday.
The unanimous vote brings the IDA one more step along in the tortuously slow effort to provide area farmers with a convenient slaughterhouse to carve their meats into marketable products, operated by a private company under the IDA’s authority.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to be able to move forward,” noted IDA CEO Allan Scott.
IDA attorney Walter Garigliano indicated the acceptance of the site plan should not be construed as putting a shovel in the ground, however.
“We now have approval of the site plan with a list of conditions,” he explained.
The conditions that must be met, according to the resolution passed by the planning board:
• The Village of Liberty must convey the six-acre property to the IDA and grant construction and permanent easements for any portion of the stormwater system that falls outside the property boundary.
• The village and the IDA must formally agree to the use of a chlorination tank to handle the stormwater.
• Access to the site and facility’s perimeter must be in compliance with NYS fire codes before a building permit is issued for the 4,900-square-foot structure.
• The IDA must hand over any extensions of the sewer & water pipes, plus Willow Avenue, to the village when completed.
• Retaining walls higher than four feet must have their own building permits.
• Prior to the private operator commencing work, a sewer outflow plan must be approved by the village.
• The IDA must provide satisfactory proof to the village’s engineer that there is sufficient water capacity to service the slaughterhouse.
Once those conditions are met, Garigliano and Village Code Enforcement Officer Pam Winters said the next step will be for the IDA to apply for a building permit.
Winters doesn’t expect that to happen until the spring, and a groundbreaking date has yet to be set.
Garigliano has long since stopped guessing at when the red meat facility will be operational, but he insisted the IDA’s commitment remains strong.
“Despite what you might read in the newspaper,” he dryly related, “we haven’t been dragging our feet. This is very complicated.”