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Great Lakes Cheese Will Build Half Billion Dollar Cheese Plant in Franklinville

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Allegany County Was Rebuked By Great Lakes Earlier This Summer

From Andrew Harris, 9/16/21, Photo by D.J.Z

Good news has arrived for Cattauragus County and Western New York. After months of searching for a location to build a massive new manufacturing facility new the current Cuba NY location has concluded in Franklinville. The Industrial Development Agency hailed the good news as the largest business investment in Cattauragus county history.

Great Lakes Cheese had attempted to secure a site in Allegany County earlier this year. The family who owns the controlling interest in Great Lakes went to great expense and delay in the attempt to build near the intersection of Rt. 19 and Interstate 86 in the town of Amity. That process lead to unprecedented legal action by Allegany County: Eminent domain action was employed against a large dairy farm in order to compel a necessary land sale. The legal tactics caused multiple protests on the county courthouse front lawn and created a very thorny issue during the Republican primary election cycle.

In the end, Great Lakes bowed out of the Allegany site when the lack of basic infrastructure made the timeline for the project unfeasible. Without the infrastructure in place, or a concrete plan to ready the site, Great Lakes politely declined the location. Politely might be an understatement, according to both company executives and Allegany County officials, the cheese company reimbursed the county for all major costs incurred during the attempt. No confirmation of that re-imbursement has been made public.

Cattaraugus County seems to have been able to land the dairy giant with a massive commitment of $5.8 million dollars in infrastructure aide and about $150 million dollars in tax breaks over a 25 year period. While many county residents expressed frustration at the corporate welfare price tag, Cattaraugus County IDA officials pointed to the expected $1.4 billion dollars of construction, goods, and services that the development will create over the next two decades.

Read our previous reporting on what we called at the time, “The Great Lakes Cheese Incident,” referring to one of our favorite bands!

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