August 20, 2012

Gillibrand Announces Nearly $200,000 Grant for Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park

Funding For Access Road at Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park In Batavia Comes After Gillibrand Toured Alpina Yogurt Facility, Urging Support for Ag-Park Infrastructure

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced a federal grant worth $199,821 for a secondary access road at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park. The funding is allocated through the USDA’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant program, and is being awarded after Senator Gillibrand toured the nearly-finished Alpina Yogurt facility and called for more federal investments in infrastructure at the Ag-Park in Batavia.

“This is an important investment that can help attract more businesses to the Genesee Valley Ag-Park, and support more jobs right here,” Senator Gillibrand said. “I know the potential the Ag-Park has to help local businesses grow and be a major economic driver for the region. Investing in transportation infrastructure is one of the fastest, most effective ways to create new jobs now, and lay the foundation for more jobs to come.”

In September 2011, Senator Gillibrand helped secure an additional $58,000 from USDA Rural Development for initial infrastructure upgrades at the Agri-Business Park, including expanding existing roads and utilities. Senator Gillibrand also brought a USDA official to Batavia in April 2012 to tour the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park and hear first-hand from local leaders about the need for federal investments to grow this critical industry for the region. In addition to the USDA, Senator Gillibrand has been active in pushing for federal funds through the U.S. Economic Development Administration to complete infrastructure improvements at the Ag-Park.

The federal grant funding will be used to design, engineer and construct a secondary access road at the Ag-Park, a key component of a range of planned infrastructure improvements, including the construction on an aquifer that is required by food processors. Muller Quaker Dairy, an international yogurt producer, and Alpina Foods would greatly benefit from the completion of the aquifer and would contribute to an increased investment in Genesee County. Upon the completion of the infrastructural improvements to the Ag-Park, Muller Quaker Dairy would be able to complete a $206 million yogurt manufacturing facility that they expect could generate approximately 186 jobs in the near-term, with the ability to create up to 600 jobs in the long-term. Alpina also expects to be able to create approximately 50 new jobs as a result of finishing the construction.