WATERTOWN — Developer Michael E. Lundy is feeling good about his chances of landing a chicken hatchery in the agribusiness park on Route 3 in the town of Watertown.
On Tuesday, the Jefferson County Planning Board reviewed site plans for a Georgia-based poultry breeding company’s plans to build the 29,000-square-foot chicken hatchery facility in the Thousand Islands International Agriculture and Business Park, located near the BOCES complex.
The planning board had a few questions but had no significant issues with the project. That was a good sign for Mr. Lundy, he said.
He should hear in the next several weeks whether the company will select the agribusiness park over a site in Ohio or Pennsylvania.
“I’m very confident in this,” he said Tuesday after the planning board meeting.
Board members asked a few questions about the operations of the hatchery, including whether it would create any odors, noise and whether it would be clean.
Mr. Lundy recently toured two hatcheries in Canada to see how they operate and found that they are “absolutely clean,” he said, adding that 10,000 chicks would be hatched at one time.
“You don’t hear any peeps and they’re extremely clean,” he said.
About 24 million chicks would be hatched a year, he said.
The hatchery would be located behind the Cazenovia Equipment building that opened earlier this year. The county road in the park would lead to a driveway and parking on the site.
Construction would start in October and be ready for operation by next summer. The town of Watertown Planning Board is expected to consider the site plans on Sept. 7.
The hatchery would initially employ 15 workers, growing to 20 after three years.
“It’s a nice project,” said Erin Ermine, assistant county planner.
County economic development officials found out about the prospect through Jeffrey Pierce, CWT’s vice president of marketing and strategic alliances, the same executive who was involved in developing the existing Aviagen hatchery in 2008 in the county corporate park about a mile away.
The connection with Mr. Pierce has been helpful in luring CWT to the agri-biz park, Mr. Lundy said.
He’s also attended numerous Zoom meetings with the company about the project.
Aviagen is owned by the same German parent company as CWT.