Plans for a soy processing facility are moving forward now that a suitable location has been found in the town of Massena. St. Lawrence Soyway Company LLC plans to set up their operation at 530 and 532 Roosevelt Road. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — Plans for a soy processing facility are moving forward now that a suitable location has been found in the town of Massena.

St. Lawrence Soyway Company LLC plans to set up their operation at 530 and 532 Roosevelt Road.

The company had been looking for a suitable site since around 2018.

Among the sites that had previously been explored were the village of Massena’s former Department of Public Works site on South Main Street and the former Alcoa East plant. The former DPW site had become available after village officials decided to move materials such as sand and salt to the current Department of Public Works site on Robinson Road.

St. Lawrence Soyway Company LLC had planned to construct a $16 million, 40,000-square-foot soybean processing facility that would crush soybeans into high-protein soy meal used primarily to feed dairy herds. It could also be used to feed hogs and poultry.

Construction at the former DPW site was expected to begin in fall 2018, and the company expected to create 36 manufacturing jobs.

Now they’re ready to move forward in a different area in Massena.

“The project remains essentially the same. We’ve had some difficulty finding a proper piece of property in the area. We wanted to stay in the area for a number of reasons. Early this year we found a piece of land in Massena that’s perfect for us,” Chief Executive Officer Doug Fisher said.

With the location now set, he said they can now move forward with financing, as well as planning for the permitting process and construction. One of the company’s requirements was access to a rail line, which they’ll have with their new location.

“It’s the same project, the same size and the same number of potential employees. We finally got a piece of land that makes sense for us after a couple of false starts,” Mr. Fisher said.

One of the requirements for the parcel is to have the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation conduct a study for any potential artifacts.

“They had to do an actual shoal test,” he said. “The PAUSE order delayed some of the land inspections.”

Mr. Fisher said they tentatively hope to have all of the paperwork, including state and local permits and approvals, as well financing in time to allow them to begin work “probably at the earliest fall or late fall.”

Once operational, he said the facility will be running 24 hours a day, seven days a week year-round. The St. Lawrence County Planning Board was expected to conduct a full site plan review for the facility during their meeting Thursday evening, and Mr. Fisher said he was appreciative of the assistance they had received from the state, county, town and St. Regis Mohawk Tribe in developing their plan.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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