April 30, 2009
$648,000 Grant to Westminster Will Finance Needed Slaughterhouse; Create 15 Jobs
Montpelier, Vt. — Governor Douglas announced today that farmers in Vermont will have another place to send their animals for slaughter and processing after the state approved an expedited request for money to help establish a slaughterhouse in Westminster.
At Governor Douglas’ urging, Commerce and Community Development Secretary Kevin Dorn approved the town's request for $648,000 in Vermont Community Development Program (VCDP) funds to be loaned to the owner of newly-formed Vermont Meats.
“Not only will these funds help finance the renovation of the former Coastal Seafood building into a much needed slaughterhouse but it will also create 15 jobs,” Douglas said. “This is something that our agriculture community has needed for some time, and I’m pleased we can help make it a reality.”
The Community Development Board met by telephone earlier this week and recommended approving the expedited grant to the town, which will then be loaned to local businessman Dan Mandich. Dorn approved the application Wednesday.
Mandich plans to convert the 20,000-square foot building located on Back Westminster Road, just off Interstate 91, into a USDA-approved beef, pork, lamb, and poultry slaughter and processing facility.
The work will include modifying the building – originally a slaughterhouse – and installing equipment with the goal of having the facility open for business later this summer or fall.
“The importance of these funds to help open an additional meat processing facility cannot be underestimated. We have seen an increase in demand by Vermonters looking to buy local,” said Secretary of Agriculture Roger Allbee. “I call it a renaissance of the past—knowing where and how your food is grown is again becoming an important aspect to consumers when buying food.”
“The southern part of the state especially has been in great need of additional meat processing capabilities,” Allbee said. “With additional processing ability, farmers have the potential to increase what they produce and it opens new market options to them while helping to meet the increased demand for Vermont products.”
The money comes from the approximately $8 million Vermont receives annually in Community Development Block Grant funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which must be used principally to benefit persons of low and moderate income.
“It’s a tribute to the staff and their skill that we were able to assist this job-creation project,” Dorn said. “This expedited application was reviewed by VCDP and approved within 30 days.”
For information about the Vermont Community Development Program, please see the Agency of Commerce and Community Development website at: http://www.dhca.state.vt.us/VCDP/index.htm
Source: Agency of Commerce and Community Development
Last Updated at: April 30, 2009 17:10:28