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ARE Park plans move forward

Ongoing plans for the proposed business park, Agricultural and Renewable Energy Park, was further discussed on the June 18 Industrial Development Agency Board meeting. The current planning stage for the park involves the search to find a local business that would like to commit to a contract for the use of excess or "waste" heat that will be expelled from the ground.

Because plans for the ARE Park are a part of a strategy that is "10 years in the making," finalizing companies that will reside in the new park or utilize the excess heat is a substantial step.

During the meeting, the IDA talked about possibly entering into an agreement with Johnson Brothers Lumber Company to utilize the excess methane that will be pulled from the ground at the ARE Park.

IDA Executive Director Kipp Hicks said the board openly approached the company after thinking about logical businesses in the county that would benefit from the park.

The lumber company based in Cazenovia, currently services the county by supplying raw logs, trimming and drying logs. The waste heat would be transferred through a kiln pipe to a green house that can sustain 160 degrees of heat so that wood can dry properly. Some lumber takes up to two weeks to dry.

"It makes sense for them to invest in this option," Hicks said.

The Cazenovia lumber company wouldthe first resident of the ARE Park if they ultimately contract to use the waste heat.

During the meeting, IDA Chairman Richard Bargabos suggested that the board contact the county's assistant planning director Scott Ingmyer so that they could see a map of the agricultural land surrounding the area.

Hicks said the map would help the board see the farm land and any sewer pipes that run through the area. The map clearly describes land in the agricultural market district.

"We don't want to put any farmers out of work or harm the land," executive director Hicks said.

The next IDA meeting is scheduled for Thursday Aug. 20. Visit madisoncountyida.com for more information on the upcoming and developing projects.

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