OSWEGO, NY Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Interest in Bion Environmental Technologies’ slaughterhouse and ethanol facility is on the rise in Oswego County.
Schroeppel has expressed an interest in the project that received a lukewarm response earlier this summer.
The company is proposing to build a huge beef slaughter operation somewhere in Oswego County.
The project, if accepted in the county, is still several years away, according to Legislator Art Ospelt.
“But, you’ve got to want them here before they even get started,” he told the county’s Economic Development and Planning Committee on Tuesday.
He said the project is a good thing, looking at the number of jobs it will bring the county.
Legislator Louella LeClair noted that she had met the chair of the St. Lawrence County Board of Supervisors and talked about Bion’s plan.
“She said if you people don’t take it, you’re crazy,” she said, adding it didn’t work out in St. Lawrence County but could be a boon in Oswego County.
It would be a benefit for county farmers, she said.
“I think that commercially that it’s a private sector thing, and that’s what we really need,” added Legislator Jack Beckwith. “Those 900 jobs are private sector jobs not related to tax dollars. I think that’s very important. I think it’s a great thing, I really do. There are a couple complicated things but I think we can fix it.”
There were concerns about water and air pollution due to the large amount of cattle that would be involved.
“I don’t worry about that. You have to get through the DEC and EPA and they have a lot of restrictions,” Ospelt said. “So (Bion) will have to comply with those regulations.”
Disease was another concern. But Ospelt noted he had talked with an area veterinarian who said the project was a good idea and didn’t believe the potential for disease would be a big concern.
The town of Schroeppel has been “very receptive” in terms of wanting to understand and learn more about the proposal, according to L. Michael Treadwell, director of Operation Oswego County.
“There has been no decision made in Schroeppel that it is going to be a project in Schroeppel,” he pointed out. “But, they have indicated an interest in the project. They are willing to continue to work with Bion to see if it will match with the community in terms of placing the facility in part of that community.”
About 40 people attended a town hall meeting in Schroeppel recently to discuss the plan.
“At this point and time, they are still very interested in pursuing a potential project in Oswego County,” Treadwell said of Bion. “But, as Art indicated, everything is still very preliminary.”
If the project becomes a reality, it would mean a large new market for county hay and corn farmers, Ospelt noted.
There are still a lot of questions that need to be answered before the county will take any action on it, Sorbello said Tuesday.