State announces $750,000 grant to Swanton for Via Cheese

first_imgVia Cheese, a Swanton-based cheese manufacturer, will receive three-quarters-of-a million dollars from the state to help modernize the former Lucille Farms cheese factory. In a ceremony at the plant Wednesday, Commerce and Community Development Secretary Kevin Dorn announced the $750,000 Community Development Block Grant to the Town of Swanton, which will be loaned to Via Cheese, a manufacturer of mozzarella, provolone, and other products. Additional funding is being provided in the form of a $150,000 loan from the Franklin County Industrial Development Corporation. The total project cost is estimated at just over $1 million and work is expected to begin at the plant in the coming months.Via Cheese began operations in October 2006 at the former Lucille Farms facility in Swanton’s industrial park, and will use the funds for capital improvements; repairs and upgrades to increase efficiency; and to bring the plant into compliance with Vermont Department of Agriculture and USDA inspection standards.“These funds will allow Via Cheese to provide enhanced quality control, to improve energy efficiency, and strengthen the company for the future,” Dorn said. “This will assist continuing to keep nearly 50 workers on the job, as well as supporting the local dairy farmers who supply the plant.”“We are very pleased that the town, the state, and the administration of Governor Jim Douglas have stepped up to help as we invest in bringing this facility up to date and implementing our Quality Improvement Plan,” said Via Cheese President Erik Brue. “Via Cheese is committed to Vermont, and this investment demonstrates Vermont’s commitment to our success.”“High volume dairy manufacturers such as Via Cheese are a significant contributor to the dairy industry and Vermont’s overall economy,” Dorn said.The Community Development Block Grant was approved by the Vermont Community Development Board, and the program is administered by the Vermont Community Development Program, part of the Vermont Department of Economic, Housing, and Community Development.“These grants are an important element of not only creating much-needed affordable housing, but of revitalizing our economy,” Dorn said. “This is especially true here in Franklin County.”The Governor praised the work of local officials and private partners as well as the dedication of the staff at the Department of Housing and Community Affairs who work in the Vermont Community Development Program.The Agency awards the competitive grants based on recommendations of the Vermont Community Development Board and approval of Secretary Dorn.For information about the Vermont Community Development Program, please see the Agency of Commerce and Community Development website at: http://www.dhca.state.vt.us/VCDP/index.htm(link is external) Source: Governor’s Office. August 12, 2009. -30-last_img

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