The last time there was a commitment to invest millions of dollars in St. Albans City, it was spurred by a comprehensive plan to redevelop the downtown core and help a major employer expand. We are fortunate that another member of our business community, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), has now chosen to strengthen their presence with a significant investment.
The expansion at DFA’s St. Albans Creamery site is extremely positive news for the City, our neighboring communities and of course, for DFA’s farmer owners. For a company whose roots were planted a century ago and part of an industry that has historically seen challenges, I am thrilled to see its growth and expansion. The Cooperative constructed its new store nearly a decade ago and installed a new dryer in the same time period. Seeing consistent investment at the operation – and now by Dairy Farmers of America – is heartening.
Today, it would be very difficult – if not impossible and costly – to build a dairy processing plant adjacent to a downtown area. DFA has designed and planned their project in a careful and thoughtful manner, which has enabled them to utilize the existing site on Federal Street. We are seeing examples of infill development like this throughout the City: The Congress and Main project, work at Bellows Free Academy, the construction of the State office building and eventually, the redevelopment of the Fonda site are all – each of which allows growth within City limits.
Early in the process, representatives from DFA met with the City to review the project. The city’s staff has worked closely with the DFA team and as a result, it has been a very collaborative process. On issues ranging from silo heights to permitting, we are pleased to have worked together.
This investment also has a positive ripple effect beyond St. Albans City. There are many DFA farm families in our neighboring communities who will benefit from this investment and the Cooperative has retained the services of many local companies to assist with this project. Franklin County has long been synonymous with quality dairy in the region and the City is pleased to do its part to support this important industry. Our community is very fortunate to have this level of capital investment in our community. Thank you, DFA.
St. Albans City Mayor