Brewer to outline plan for former mill
Incentives sweeten deal on massive plant
COBLESKILL Schoharie County officials are expecting to learn details later this week on progress toward developing the former Guilford Mills textile building into a brewery.
The county’s Board of Supervisors signed off on a purchase agreement with owners of Butternuts Beer & Ale about 11 months ago, marking the second time the long-vacant facility generated some interest since it’s been in the county’s hands.
Principals from Long House Holdings LLC, a sister company created by Butternuts Beer & Ale of Otsego County, will give a presentation at 1:30 p.m. Friday during the county board’s meeting, according to county Planning and Development Director Alicia Terry.
The massive 460,000-square-foot facility has been under county ownership since 2009, and vacant since about 2001, when Guilford Mills stopped operating there.
The last effort to bring jobs and activity to the building — a proposal to raise fish for restaurants — fizzled out nearly a year after it was outlined.
State, county and local officials have thrown a variety of incentives toward the deal in hopes of creating jobs and lessening the county’s financial burden of paying school taxes on the site.
To help pay for upgrades at the site, the state has promised to supply $750,000 from the economic transformation area program developed after a wave of prison shutdowns, including closure of the Summit Shock Facility, which took 100 jobs out of the county.
The county’s Industrial Development Agency is offering a 10-year PILOT agreement — payment in lieu of taxes — that would relieve the building’s owners of standard property taxes. The company instead would make a $62,000 payment in each of the first five years, gradually increasing from $77,754 in year six to $152,374 in year 10.
The purchase agreement with the county includes incentives as well.
The company would pay $5,000 down and initially only interest on the $2.5 million purchase price. And the purchase price would be reduced by $15,000 for each job above 10 positions the company creates, up to a maximum of 110 job, which would be a $1.5 million price cut.
Terry said Butternuts’ plans would tap into the growing market for specialty beers.
“There’s a huge interest in the craft brew industry,” Terry said.
According to brief synopses provided in documents from the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council, work on the Cobleskill brewery proposal is proceeding “on track,” most recently with the completion of an environmental audit in August.
The company told state officials they’ve invested $100,000 in the project thus far, according to the MVREDC.
Company representatives have told county officials they intend to upgrade the building to make it usable for their purposes, a promise that made it easier to sign a purchase agreement with no down payment money.
Jefferson Supervisor Daniel Singletary on Monday said he sees upgrades to the facility, if they take place, as a positive step.
The massive building has been used in textiles and shifting its capabilities over to food-type processes would make it more attractive for other uses use, Singletary said.
The county Board of Supervisors is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. Friday in Board Chambers on the third floor of the County Office Complex on Main Street in Schoharie.