By MICHAEL ANICH
JOHNSTOWN - Yogurt manufacturer Fage USA is expanding again, planning to build a 60,000-square-foot cooler addition to its Johnstown Industrial Park operation.
The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich
Nicholas Schwartz, an engineer for Fage USA, shows plans for a proposed addition to the company’s Johnstown plant on Monday.
Fage engineer Nicholas Schwartz briefed the Johnstown Planning Board on the proposed project Monday.
"We've seen great growth in Fage, a great growth in their product," he said. "We just need more cooler space."
In January, Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility officials approved a $100,000 "feasibility study" to determine what's needed to treat future whey discharges from the yogurt plant, which wants to quadruple production in the next three years.
Mayor Sarah Slingerland told Schwartz, "We're more than happy to work with Fage. That's a great, great asset to the city."
The company, which employs about 115 people, was approved by the Common Council last year for a $26 million expansion. With that expansion, Fage is planning a 19,000-square-foot addition to its 125,000-square-foot plant at the Johnstown Industrial Park and create at least 25 jobs.
This latest planned addition to come before city officials may only create one or two new jobs, but gives the company more refrigeration space, Schwartz said.
Planning Board Chairman Peter K. Smith said Fage has submitted an amended site plan application for the cooler addition. He said the company has been growing quite a bit in the last six years since a group of Greek businesspeople brought the project to the city.
"We have been dealing with Fage on a series of approvals beginning in June 2005," Smith said.
The board approved itself as lead agency for the state Environmental Quality Review part of the project.
The addition will require modification of underground utilities. Schwartz said the addition will be located east of the dry-storage addition that was approved in August. The cooler addition will have six loading docks.
He said the project will involve construction of a retaining wall on the eastern side of the property.
The new addition shouldn't pose more truck problems for Fage, he told the board.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.