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Commission approves wine facility

SCHUYLER COUNTY--The Schuyler County Planning Commission held its monthly meeting Feb. 9 and approved, with two conditions, plans to build a wine production facility at the Schuyler County Business Park. Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED) was previously awarded $250K from the Regional Economic Development Council for the "ultra premium wine production, warehousing, and distribution facility" that will be created by Fagan Engineers Land Surveyors. While state law requires the commission to review the plan, its role is advisory. The project plan now returns to the town of Dix for further review.
Schuyler County Planning Director Kristin VanHorn said the wine production plan meets zoning requirements and will have a neutral impact on the surrounding community. She noted traffic will be minimal as there will not be a tasting room on premise and trucks leaving the facility will use Johnson Hollow Road. The wine production facility is expected to house three tenants who will be responsible for their own crush pad and equipment.Parking is planned for 20 vehicles to accommodate employees. One tenant is currently being secured and SCOPED economic development specialist Michael Whiteman hopes to attract other local tenants who are either farmers with grapes but no production facility, or small wineries who might be hindered by new agricultural regulations. SCOPED has not yet released the name of the tenant. The ultra premium facility's capacity is set at a maximum of 30,000 cases of wine annually and recommendations for the project include the identification of the agricultural waste site and increased permeable land development.
Discussion without action included a suggested review of agricultural waste projections.
The planning commission consists of representatives from all municipalities with members from business, farming, industry, medical and tourism sectors and is chaired by Matt Schamel.

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