Development May Be ‘Eco-Commerce Park,’
Using Geothermal Heat, But Also Natural Gas
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Andela Products and its subsidiary, Ruby Lake Glass, expects to break ground in 2020 on a 100,000-square-foot building on a 40-acre parcel just south of the village owned by Otsego Now, company President Cynthia Andela told a gathering of businesspeople this morning at the Richfield Springs Community Coop.
That will still leave room for a 50,000-square-foot building on the site, which could be used by a single company, or subdivided to accommodate several companies, she said at a session organized by the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce.
The 25-year-old company recycles glass, and Ruby Lake colorizes glass that can then be used for crossing stripes and other markings on road pavement. Andela said her company currently has a contract with New York City to stripe pavement; if you’re there, you can see it in the vicinity of the Flatiron Building. The product offers “color, friction and durability,” with resulting stripes withstanding 4-5 years of traffic.
Given interest in development an “eco-commercial park” somewhere in the county since the chamber’s Jan. 31 Energy Summit at The Otesaga, Andela said she’s been interested to learn the definition of such an entity is open-ended. With a solar farm being studied for part of the property, the development could possibly be defined as an “eco-commercial park,” she said.
It’s likely that an energy-efficient geothermal system, using heat from beneath the earth, could be used to heat the building’s slab. However, three-phase electricity will be needed to power her machines. “I’ve got to have natural gas to run the dryers,” she added.
Also attending was Otsego Now CEO Jody Zakrevsky, who noted that his agency obtained a $950,000 CFA grant for Andela to build its new plant. (CFA stands for comprehensive funding application, the vehicle to obtain state economic-development funding.) However, Andela pointed out the grant is a reimbursement her company will only receive once it completes the $5 million project.
Currently, she said, her main plant is just over the line in Herkimer County; she is also renting space in Utica and in Richfield Springs for various operations, which she is hoping to consolidate at the new site.
“I want to stay in Richfield Springs because my workforce comes form all over the place,” she said, from a 30-40 mile radius that includes New Hartwick and Sherburne to the west and Carlisle to the east. The village has “more people to draw on than Oneonta,” she said, tweaking attendees from the City of the Hills.”
“Your assets are your workforce,” she concluded.