Friday, February 14, 2014

Meat Plant Coming to a Town Close to You, Maybe Not

Why do we get our food from overseas?  A proposal to put a meat plant in a small town in NY has come under fire from critics.  Some of the questions posed are valid, but others worry about the potential smell.   Putting the address into Google Maps, I noted that the potential site is on the
outskirts of town, in a mostly industrial area.

So we all want more jobs and we want to buy local food, but there can’t be any negatives that affect anybody.

Meat packaging plant could be coming to East Dominick Street

ROME – East Dominick Street may soon be home to a new meat packaging plant. First ward councilperson Lori Trifeletti and many city officials have been working diligently on this project.

The plant, which has been proposed to the city by Tino Marcoccia, a developer from Syracuse, is still in the preliminary stages.

“Nothing will be moving forward until we have a business plan,” Trifeletti said.

Marcoccia did estimate that the plant could create as many as 250 new jobs. The jobs will vary in pay rate from minimum wage to around $30 an hour. Trifeletti added that there will be two USDA inspectors and veterinarians on site at all times.

The proposed plant was already brought before the zoning board in January, but was voted down 3-2. Trifeletti said that it will go before the board again in March.

The property is located at 1212 E. Dominick St. It is planned to be both a meat cooking and packaging plant.

Community and Economic Development Director Jake DiBari explained how the setup is going to work.

“The western part of the facility will be the slaughter portion and the eastern part will be the cooking plant,” DiBari said. “The slaughter part will be breaking the meat down and selling it to grocery stores and the cooking part will be cooking and selling for frozen foods.”

Last week, Trifeletti, DiBari, Mayor Joseph Fusco, Zoning Board Chairman Kurt Parry and a representative of Marcoccia took a field trip to four similar plants in New Jersey to do some research.

Trifeletti said that one of the main concerns residents have about the meat plant is how it will smell.

“We went to three different cooking facilities in New Jersey that were in residential areas,” DiBari said. “I detected zero offensive odors from the cooking facilities. The facilities smelled like a large restaurant, much like Burger King when you got within 50 feet of the building. I interviewed two neighbors that live within 150 feet of the facility; they had no complaints about odor, noise or traffic.”

Trifeletti said that an odor control system will be implemented at the facility.

“I’m hearing a lot of pros and cons from the residents; but they all are valid questions,”Trifeletti said.

Many residents were also concerned about the treatment of the animals that would be taken to the plant.

“No one will know what is going on, the tractor trailer will back right up to the building and the animals will be brought inside,” Trifeletti said.

She also said that any animal byproduct will be disposed of everyday.

“It will be removed by covered trucks, I don’t know where it’s going but it will not be disposed of in the Rome sewer system,” Trifeletti said.

She has also spoken with technicians about the city sewer system and it will be able to withstand any extra sewage coming from the plant.

A First Ward meeting will be held on March 3 at 6 p.m. at the Toccolana Club in Rome. Any questions concerning the proposed plant can be addressed at this meeting.

“My main concern is educating the public, said Trifeletti. “I want to relay all the information that I gained and answer any questions they may have.”

A petition against the creation of the meat plant with approximately 150 signatures was presented to the Common Council last night.

The proposal with go before the zoning board again on March 5.

For any questions, Lori can be reached at 315-336-0007.


      No comments:

      Post a Comment