Whey plant to bloom in park

JOHNSTOWN – Proliant Dairy’s whey-processing plant, to be built adjacent to Fage USA’s plant at the Johnstown Industrial Park, was approved Tuesday by the city Planning Board.

The Iowa-based company previously approached city officials about what they see as a $50 million project to be done in two phases. A public hearing on Proliant’s site plan was conducted Tuesday afternoon at City Hall, but no one spoke.

“Proliant just got approval,” city Fire Chief Bruce Heberer told the Common Council Tuesday night. “It looks like it’s going to be a fall start.”

Approval Tuesday was pending completion of a state Environmental Quality Review.

Proliant is proposing an addition at 199 Enterprise Road to an existing, vacant 34,907-square-foot warehouse building on 10 acres at the industrial park. The first phase would be a roughly 10,000-square-foot addition, with the second being an addition of about 22,000 to 24,000 square feet. The existing warehouse is currently owned by Boston-based Stag Capital Partners and used to house the former H&J Leather, Finkle Distributors and Core-Mark International firms.

The company is looking to process Fage’s whey that the Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility can’t handle.

Proliant President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Weihs said last month the construction project will be done in two phases and he hopes to be in operation in May. Excavation work would start this fall. The company would have 20 employees hired to start, and 15 more after the second phase is done.

Proliant will turn the acidic whey into two or three loads of powder-form product per day. The processed product will be used to feed piglets and may be exported to China. Proliant has secured equipment to build a pilot plant in Minnesota, but the Johnstown Industrial Park plant will be the company’s largest operation of its kind.

Pole barn

A public hearing also was conducted Tuesday by the Planning Board on a pole barn addition by Ped Electric Service of 117 N. Perry St.

The board later approved the $8,000 project involving removal of an existing 200-square-foot addition and build a new 420-square-foot pole barn.

Credit approval

The board also approved a project by Credit On Cars of East State Street for a cleaning and car repair business. The project did not require a public hearing.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.