WATERTOWN — A $16 million egg hatchery at the Thousand Islands International Agriculture and Business Park has been awarded low-cost power from the state to help support the project.
Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul announced Thursday that the New York Power Authority’s Board of Trustees has approved the allocation of 320 kilowatts of low-cost power from the St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project in Massena for the planned operation on Route 3 in the town of Watertown.
CWT Farms International, Gainesville, Georgia, held a groundbreaking ceremony on a nearly 50,000-square-foot hatchery in June 2022, officially initiating the company’s largest investment in its 60-year history. Construction is now under way.
The company initially proposed a smaller hatchery producing 400,000 eggs per week in the town of Watertown agricultural park with plans for expansion, but then decided to build a facility that would already include the expansion and could produce 800,000 eggs weekly. The expansion project will help CWT serve its Canadian and northeastern U.S. customers and create 26 jobs in the north country.
“The approved power allocation to CWT will bolster New York’s agriculture sector, create 26 jobs and stimulate $16 million in private investments in Watertown,” NYPA acting President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll said in a statement. “By leveraging hydropower, the St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project remains a major driver of economic development for communities across the North Country.”
The project previously received $1.5 million from Empire State Development, which included a $1 million grant and $500,000 Excelsior Job Program grant.
At the time of the ground-breaking ceremony, Jeffrey Lee Pierce, CWT’s vice president of marketing and strategic alliances, said about 25% of the chicks will go to the Canadian broiler market, while the plant will also supply a couple of chicken plants in southern New York and one in northern Pennsylvania.
Design Build Innovations, DBi, formed by local businessmen Michael E. Lundy and Corry J. Lawler, is building the hatchery.
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