Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced a federal grant worth $1million for an aquifer direct water system for food processors at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park. The funding is allocated through the U.S. Economic Development Agency, and is being awarded after Senator Gillibrand toured the recently-finished Alpina Yogurt facility, and called for more federal investments in infrastructure at the Ag-Park in Batavia.
In July, Senator Gillibrand wrote to the EDA Regional Director urging this investment into the Ag-Park.
“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 infrastructure is one of the fastest, most effective ways to create new jobs now, and lay the foundation for more jobs to come.”
The $1 million EDA grant will be used to finish construction of an aquifer direct water system required by food processors, benefitting both Muller Quaker Dairy and Alpina Foods.
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.
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.
Senator Gillibrand’s July letter to EDA Regional Director Willie C. Taylor is attached.