Proposed space for egg hatchery nearly doubles

An egg hatchery is being considered for the Thousand Islands International Agriculture and Business Park on Route 3 in Watertown. Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — Members of the Jefferson County Local Development Corp. got some good news on Thursday about a proposed egg hatchery in the agribusiness park on Route 3.

Although no decision has been made on the location, a Georgia-based poultry breeding company has nearly doubled the size of a proposed egg hatchery in the Thousand Islands International Agriculture and Business Park, located near the BOCES complex in the town of Watertown.

Jay M. Matteson, agricultural coordinator for the Jefferson County Economic Development Agency, said Thursday that the Georgia company, CWT Farms International, has indicated it now plans a 50,000-square-foot hatchery.

When news of the potential egg hatchery first circulated in August, the size of the proposed plant was 28,000 square feet.

“It’s very exciting,” Mr. Matteson said. “We’re working with them.”

The company has not yet selected a site, he said.

The company is considering the Watertown site and potential locations in Ohio and Pennsylvania. The agribusiness park is owned by local developer Michael E. Lundy.

Mr. Matteson reported the changes in the project to the JCLDC board on Thursday morning.

If the company builds the larger plant in the town of Watertown, the hatchery would produce 36.4 million eggs a year, up from the first-proposed 15.6 million, Mr. Matteson said.

Details about the project’s cost and how many jobs it would create were not available on Thursday.

With the changes in the proposed plant, construction wouldn’t start until March, and the facility would not be in operation until the end of 2022.

Board member Robert Aiken asked whether Jefferson County has a better chance of landing the egg hatchery now that the company plans a larger operation.

“In my opinion, it tilts in our favor,” Mr. Matteson said.

The company is waiting to hear about funding from Empire State Development now that the plans have changed from the original scope of the project, he said.

The company also is submitting information with the agency on the project’s changes so that it can modify a tax package that was approved last month.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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