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Proposed biofuel plant gains steam


September 23, 2009
GROVETON — A proposed biofuel plant¬ in Groveton has passed over the local zoning hurdles as they received a zoning variance and the approval of a site plan review from the Zoning and Planning Boards respectively. Rainbow Connection, LLC, d/b/a Wagman Connection LLC applied for the variance on behalf of Prima America Corporation Groveton Biofuels Pilot Plant, as the owners of the building at 248 State Street where the manufacturing outfit is looking to locate.

"The engineering study came through with flying colors," said selectman and zoning board member Mario Audit.

This gives a strong go ahead for the former Wausau Carriers building on the north end of town to be converted into a biofuel plant. It has been estimated that the plant will contribute 25-30 jobs to the town.

"The way the economy is lately we have to be flexible with new businesses coming into the area drumming up new business."

The variance obtained from the zoning board allows the company to make any necessary modifications to the building, even those which conflict with current town ordinances. Necessary alterations that were mentioned at the meeting included raising the height of the building with a smoke stack that would be higher than the current 35 ft limit. According to Mr. Audit the smokestack will likely be 70-75 ft high.

"The smoke stack doesn't worry me. We have ones at the mill that are bigger than the one they'll build," said Mr. Audit. He, said he had no reservations concerning the variance and it was approved unanimously by both boards in less than 20 minutes.

The company was given also given special permission from the zoning board last month to turn the purpose of the land from light industrial to heavy industrial.

"It wasn't a hard decision," said Audit, "It's very good for the region we're happy to have them in town."

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