Poultry plant eyed for Pa. business park

June 16, 2005|by DON AINES

ZULLINGER, Pa. - A Highspire, Pa., food exporting company has received a state grant to study the possibility of building a poultry processing plant in the Wharf Road Industrial Park that could employ hundreds of people, according to State Sen. Terry Punt's office.

Rizkcozann Food Corp. received approval Wednesday from the Commonwealth Financing Authority for a $175,000 grant for feasibility and engineering studies, said Catherine Cresswell, the executive director for the Senate Community and Economic Development Committee, which is chaired by Punt. She said the authority was formed last year as part of Gov. Ed Rendell's economic stimulus package.

"We're looking at some other facilities to acquire to satisfy the demand for exports," said Mickey Rizk, president of Rizkcozann. He said the company has been involved in food exports, but is now expanding into production.


Cresswell said the U.S. Department of Agriculture expects the export market for poultry to triple over the next five to six years.

As part of that strategy, he said his company has acquired two lots in the industrial park and is planning to acquire Zullinger Packing Co. Inc., a meat processor with a plant adjacent to those lots.

The complex, if the company proceeds with the plan, will occupy about 26 acres in the park, Rizk said.

Cresswell said the application for the grant indicated the company would invest $8 million or more in a 50,000-square-foot facility.

"I think the number is going to exceed that," Rizk said of the investment figure. He said the poultry and slaughterhouse operation eventually could employ between 300 and 400 people.

"We mainly work under subsidy programs supported by the USDA" such as the Dairy Export Program and Export Enhancement program, Rizk said.

If the project is deemed feasible by the studies, Rizk said construction could begin later this year.

Punt's office also announced Commonwealth Financing Authority funding for three projects in Adams County:

  • A First Industries Agriculture Loan of $115,000 to Granite Acres Farm in Gettysburg, Pa., to renovate and expand farm buildings.

  • A First Industries Tourism Planning Grant of $175,000 to Lucky 7 Investments LLC for general planning for the Gettysburg Equestrian Center.

  • A First Industries Tourism Planning Grant of $175,000 for USA Management Inc. for Gateway Gettysburg, which will include a hotel, convention center and Imax theater.

The four projects will create approximately 1,000 jobs in Franklin and Adams counties, Cresswell said.

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