The Saputo cheese company is busy stripping its closed plant in Hinesburg and along with job losses, the town is feeling a loss of income.
The Canadian specialty cheese company suffered extensive damage in a fire in September. It then closed the plant-- leaving more than 80 people without jobs. Now construction crews are repairing the building, getting it ready to put on the market. And all equipment-- including about 20 silos-- are being sent to other Saputo facilities around the country. Saputo must still pay its property taxes until the building is sold, but the loss of equipment is hurting Hinesburg's bottom line, which already faces challenges because of the downturn in the economy.
"But the other issue is our personal property-- the equipment that was being taxed. Hinesburg does still have personal property tax and Saputo was paying a significant amount for the equipment that they had there. They had-- I think it's assessed at $4 million worth of equipment. That is tax revenue that we will lose," explained Jeanne Wilson, Hinesburg Town Administrator.
Wilson says that amounts to a loss of about $18,000 for Hinesburg. Saputo is expected to begin marketing the plant sometime next year once the building is completely decommissioned.
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