DUNKIRK, N.Y. - It was two big scoops of good news for the city of Dunkirk Thursday.
One of it’s biggest employers, Fieldbrook Foods, said today it was adding 60 full-time jobs. The ice cream novelty maker has been in expansion mode for most of 2016. Earlier this year it added two new product lines.
And back in August announced it would need an additional 50 employees to support their operation.
So, in less than six months, Fieldbrook has expanded by 111 positions, or a 20% growth in its workforce.
Fieldbrook CEO Bob Charleston said his company has been the beneficiary of a dedicated workforce and a team elected officials who helped them expand.
The $4-million expansion has been assisted in $400,000 in tax credits from Empire State Development.
What caught everyone at the Fieldbrook announcement by surprise was news about Dunkirk’s gilded NRG power plant. The coal-fired electrical generation plant went off line in January of 2016. That blew a huge hole in Dunkirk’s city budget.
Instead of $2.5-million in property taxes, NRG’s levy dropped to $450,000. The state of New York is ready to patch Dunkirk’s budget hole for 2017 with a $2-million dollar grant. But in future years, the state aid tapers-off.
At the top of his New Year’s wishlist for Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas is to get the NRG plant back on line. So, after the Fieldbrook announcement, we asked Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul where Governor Andrew Cuomo was on the NRG plant.
To the delight and surprise of everyone Hochul said, "It is green-lighted and that is the good news for his community that it is also at the top of the Governor’s wishlist as well.”
Hotel said she had no timetable for clearing all the regulatory hurdles, but she insist getting the NRG plant operational was a priority for Governor Cuomo.