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Johnstown plant to start bottling water soon

Company to help village’s budget

Tuesday, April 2, 2013
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— Production may begin at the end of this month at the new CG Roxane water bottling plant in Johnstown, putting more than 30 people to work and adding another element to Fulton County’s growing food processing cluster.

Fulton County Center for Regional Growth CEO Michael Reese said in an email Monday that CG Roxane is installing equipment in the new plant on Watershed Road with plans to begin operations at the end of the month.

Efforts to reach officials at CG Roxane were unsuccessful Monday.

The California-based water bottling company, which markets “Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring Water,” will employ about 33 people at this plant, the company’s sixth plant in the U.S.

Officials in December said electricity was lacking for the facility, built last summer in rural Johnstown.

National Grid spokeswoman Virginia Limmiatis said work hinges on the weather, but the utility expects power to be online by Wednesday.

The water plant’s production will benefit the village of Canajoharie, which has been struggling over the past several years with the loss of its biggest water customer, Beech-Nut.

Prior to moving to a new plant in the Florida Business Park, Beech-Nut purchased 1 million gallons daily from the village.

The village is developing its budget for the 2013-14 year and water rates will be dropping from $6 for 1,000 gallons to $4.75 per 1,000 gallons, Mayor Francis Avery said.

Avery said it’s his understanding CG Roxane will purchase 300,000 gallons daily from the village, and bottle it at the source.

Same ‘spring’ water

The new bottling plant is located within the watersheds of both Johnstown and the village of Canajoharie in Montgomery County to the south.

Avery said the 300,000 gallons of water is readily available, so the usage is not expected to affect efforts to market the old Beech-Nut plant that’s shut down.

The village makes use of the same spring water and also has another 93 million gallon reservoir at its disposal, Avery said.

Village residents are drinking the same water CG Roxane will bottle, but it can’t be called spring water if it’s drawn from municipal pipes, Avery said.

The Fulton-Montgomery-Schoharie Workforce Development Board Inc. worked with CG Roxane during the fall to ensure sufficient staffing will be available, according to director Gail Breen.

Breen said in an email Monday that hiring took place in September and October and supervisors for the new facility have been sent for training.

Any amount of new jobs is a good thing for the region, Breen said.

“Small businesses play a very important part in our state, regional and local economies,” Breen said.

 
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