Agri-Mark to break ground on $17M expansion of West Springfield plant

MassLive, July 14, 2017, by Conor Berry

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Agri-Mark Inc. will break ground Monday on a $17 million expansion of its West Springfield plant, according to Doug DiMento, director of corporate communications for the farmer-owned cooperative.

Agri-Mark officials and farmers will be joined by Mayor William C. Reichelt and other officials at 9:30 a.m. at the plant at 958 Riverdale St. Parking is available next door at 1000 Riverdale St.

Agri-Mark, best known for its Cabot and McCadam brands of cheese and butter, is poised to expand its dryer operation, which involves taking skim milk and drying it into nonfat milk powder. The West Side plant makes butter, dry milk, and condensed blends of milk and cream for ice cream customers.

The state’s Economic Assistance Coordinating Council on Wednesday approved tax incentives that will help Agri-Mark with its multimillion-dollar expansion plan in West Springfield.

The co-op has pledged to hire at least 12 new employees, with preference given to qualified West Springfield residents.

The Reichelt administration successfully negotiated a five-year tax increment financing agreement with Agri-Mark. Over the lifespan of the deal, the city will see tax gains of around $561,000, while Agri-Mark will see tax savings of around $240,000.

After the five years is up, the plant will go back online as a fully taxable property, according to the mayor.

“They’re willing to make this investment if we’re willing to give them back a portion of their tax dollars over the first five years,” said Reichelt, who pitched the tax-break plan to the Town Council in the spring.

The council unanimously approved the deal May 15, with the state following suit June 21.