By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO With Legislator Ira Steingart now installed as chairman, the Industrial Development Agency (IDA) Board unanimously agreed on Tuesday to head toward construction of the slaughterhouse in Liberty.
“This is a very good day for the red meat facility,” said IDA attorney Walter Garigliano. “… It’s time to move it from planning to implementation, from approvals to construction.”
That took the form of a resolution to have IDA officials work out a professional services agreement with Monticello engineer Glenn Smith.
Working within a $50,000 budget, Smith and crew will finish the design and engineering of the site in preparation for a groundbreaking that could come later this year.
Though no date was set, Garigliano said two bids will ultimately be let: one for sitework and one for construction of a 5,000-square-foot building at the end of Willow Lane in Liberty.
The property will then be leased by the IDA to an operator.
IDA Board member Cindy Garlinghouse pushed for local hiring throughout the process, which Garigliano said is “on the radar screen” (though the IDA will be legally bound to accept the lowest responsible bids on the sitework and construction).
Advancing an idea broached by Narrowsburg resident Star Hesse, Steingart asked for more exploration of Dr. Temple Grandin’s cattle slaughtering methods, considered more humane than the industry standard.
Garigliano said that had already been investigated and a committee consisting in part of local farmers will likely be created to seek out and advise the IDA on operators.
Getting the word out
Steingart introduced himself to his new colleagues on Tuesday, expressing both gratitude and goals.
“I’m very honored to be sitting on this board because of who is on it,” he noted.
But, he added, neither the public nor legislators have a proper understanding of what the IDA does or how it does it.
“We’re getting a bad rap, and it’s not warranted because we do a good job,” Steingart insisted.
Toward that end, he hopes to increase communication and openness with both the County Legislature and taxpayers.
Legislator Cindy Gieger, who was also present (along with Cora Edwards), added that she and others will be “new eyes and ears” on the IDA, and will insist on open, timely communication.
Those interested in finding out more about what the IDA is discussing can now access resolutions, agendas and other documents at the agency’s website: www.sullivanida.com.