Thursday 26 April 2018

Big cheese Glanbia causes stink

IRISH dairy firm Glanbia is a big cheese in Idaho and just recently its new $15m (€11.3m) headquarters and innovation centre was completed in Twin Falls. Glanbia has had a presence in Idaho for years and is one of the biggest cheese manufacturers in the US. Many local politicians have welcomed the 50,000 sq ft facility, insisting it will help to revitalise an area of the city apparently full of crumbling buildings.

Indeed, the Glanbia project saw the city's urban renewal agency contribute over $1.25m to the scheme, which was constructed by a company called Uptown Developers.

Most of the local grant paid for infrastructure upgrades such as streetlights, footpaths and drainage. But $340,000 of it paid for the land where the new HQ now sits. And not everyone is happy about it. Two local Republican politicians have lashed out at the urban renewal programme and how it spends money. One – Vito Barbieri – questioned whether taxpayers would think the land deal represented their best interests. "We don't seem to have any clear way to ensure that taxpayers have their say on what these urban renewal districts do," he said.

But another Republican politician denied the money was a handout, saying it was an "incentive" for Glanbia.

Either way, plenty of photo opportunities for politicians. Say "cheese!"

Irish Independent

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