WESTFIELD – A local grape growing plant in Westfield will be getting a tax break to improve their facility.
The County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA) approved a Payment in Lieu of Tax (PILOT) incentive for Growers’ Cooperative Grape Juice Company, Inc, 112 N. Portage St, Westfield.
CCIDA officials said the program will help ease initial property tax increases over the next 10 years following a $3.4 million capital investment from the grape company to construct two new 500,000-gallon storage tanks and related infrastructure at their facility.
“Growers’ Co-operative is proud to be a farmer-owned cooperative for 90 years.” said Steve Cockram, Growers’ General Manager. “Our latest investment will help create a long-term, stable market for Chautauqua farmers by creating more capacity, which gives us a greater competitive edge over other grape-growing regions in Washington and Michigan. As a co-op, all earnings are returned to our local farmer-owners.”
The project is expected to employ around 20 contractors during the construction of the tanks.
Those tanks will have the capacity to hold roughly 700 acres of grape crop from local farmers. Growers’ Cooperative Grape Juice Company said they will hire two full-time employees and five harvesters.
CCIDA officials said they have been working with the grape juice company for nearly two years on striking the deal.
The Growers’ Co-op was founded in 1929.