Solvay: Sawmill construction approved

At its Oct. 9 meeting, the Solvay Village Board approved construction of a hardwoods sawmill, which will reclaim acres of land and bring several new jobs to the area. The mill will also bring scores of large flatbed lumber trucks to and from the village each day.

The sawmill, which will produce hardwood products from logs, will be on a 67-acre plot just north of Gere Lock Road. The site will contain the mill, two storage facilities, an office and a kiln used for drying the wood.

The mill was first proposed in mid-2006 by O'Brien & Gere, the engineering company developing the land. Construction is set to begin before the end of the year, and the site is to be fully functional by 2009.

The property is currently owned by Honeywell, but Hardwoods of Syracuse LLC., will be the owners of the new mill. Although the site has been the property of Honeywell since the 1920's, it is on a former Allied Chemical landfill, which has been primarily abandoned for some time.

"This will put 67 acres of abandoned land back on the tax roll," said Peter Grevelding, senior vice president at O'Brien & Gere. He could not specify how much taxes for the site might be.

O'Brien & Gere brought the project before the Solvay village board in August. Since that time, they and Honeywell have been identifying the pollutants and calculating the costs and necessary procedures for redeveloping the landfill.

Grevelding said the waste on the site is mostly limestone and other pollutants left over from the chemical factory, and is considered semi-volatile. Construction will include clearing the land and "capping," or paving over the landfill before it can be further developed.

Along with the temporary construction jobs, O'Brien & Gere expects the mill to create 50 new factory jobs for Solvay residents.

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