Northern New York Newspapers
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Sun., Oct. 4
Serving the communities of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, New York
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Watertown still hoping that Jain Irrigation will make $10 million investment in industrial park


Watertown Local Development Corp. officials are still waiting to hear whether Jain Irrigation Inc. will build a new $10 million facility on the last empty lots in the City Center Industrial Park.

Donald W. Rutherford, CEO of the corporation, also known as the Watertown Trust, told the Trust board that Jain Irrigation’s decision-makers in India have not made up their minds whether they will proceed with the project, but he remains optimistic.

Jain officials are still considering four options regarding how they would go about completing the project if they proceed with it, Mr. Rutherford said. He declined to give more details.

He has been talking to local Jain officials almost weekly about the project’s progress and met with Carson D. Lennox, general manager of the Watertown plant, about three weeks ago.

“I’m still optimistic something is going to happen in Watertown,” Mr. Rutherford said.

Trust board member David J. Zembiec said Jain continues to grow locally and hired new employees at a job fair last week.

Local officials had hoped to hear in late August whether the project was a go.

According to the expansion proposal, the company would purchase and build on the wooded site — consisting of lots 9, 10 and possibly 11 — off South Bellew Avenue, behind Current Applications and adjacent to the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building.

If the company proceeds with the project, its local workforce would increase to about 120 employees. Plans also including three additional product lines.

The project first came up publicly at June’s WLDC meeting when Mr. Rutherford said an unidentified local company was considering a 100,000-square-foot warehouse in the industrial park.

Mr. Lennox could not be reached Thursday.

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