Zebrowski urges state economic agency to void $1.6M grant for New Square slaughterhouse

Zebrowski urges state economic agency to void $1.6M grant for New Square slaughterhouse

Lohud Rockland Blog

by Steve Lieberman

Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, D-New City, again urged a state economic development agency to withdraw a $1.6 million grant for New Square’s controversial poultry processing plant.

The plant – estimated to cost more than $3 million – is proposed for a residential-commercial area in New Square, which borders residential areas in New Hempstead.

The New Square-based Adir Poultry is seeking to replace its closed 5,000-square-foot slaughterhouse. The U.S. Attorney’s Office went to court to get the older facility shut down in 2010 after it was discovered the operators had been selling uninspected poultry since 2002, among other health violations.

The company’s 30-page summary of the environmental impact of the proposed 26,250-square-foot plant and how the facility would be operated has been given to the New Square Board of Trustees and shared with the nearby village of New Hempstead and other agencies involved.

The Board of Trustees is the lead agency and has final approval over the plans and any zoning requirements.

The Rockland Planning Board, opposes the location, but didn’t reject the smaller-sized plant in June – as it did the original 50,000-square-feet. The board recommended more than 20 modifications, mostly reminders of needed approvals from other agencies.

Zebrowski has long opposed the plant, contending a slaughterhouse is not conducive to the neighborhood. County Executive Ed Day also has opposed the facility, since his days in the Rockland Legislature. Day is hoping the Planning Board gets to review the project again.

The plant got support with the Empire Development several years ago from the late state Sen. Thomas Morahan, R-New City, Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffe, D-Suffern, and other officials.

Zebrowski urged the state to withdraw the grant in 2009 and last year.

He repeated his request in a letter released on Tuesday:

“Today, I sent another letter asking Empire State Development (ESD) to rescind a $1.6 million RESTORE NY grant that was awarded for a poultry processing plant in 2009.

“I have previously written to ESD in 2009 and most recently in 2013. In my letter, I explained that many Rockland elected officials and residents are deeply concerned with the negative effects that this slaughterhouse will have on home values, health and the environment.

“As I have said repeatedly, an industrial slaughterhouse has no place in a residential neighborhood. I will continue to fight for the defunding of this grant and will pursue legislation to prevent slaughterhouses from being built near residential homes going forward (A.1207).”