On Tuesday night, members of the Cortland County Planning Board sent a project to the Cortland County Planning Board to obtain a permit to protect aquifers.
The project consists of a small extension to the sorting plant building located at 890 McLean Rd. this would help automate some functions for factory operators, said Ryan Mars, the company’s engineer.
“This project will help us continue to modernize the sawmill,” he said at a meeting of the Planning Council on Tuesday. “One of the projects I am working on is the introduction of new modern equipment with more automation to facilitate our work. One such project is to install a new stacker, which will allow us to automatically apply stickers to the lumber itself when it leaves the sawmill.
The new extension to the sorting machine building will have 2,500 square feet of space and simplify factory work.
Marrs said by phone Wednesday morning that staff will still be needed “to manage equipment that does automation.” He added that the project is more of a “technology advancement”.
“It would allow (get rid of) the need for people to stand all day doing physical work. This is a position we are really trying to take, “Marrs said.” It will help us stay sustainable in the long run. “
The technology will allow Gutchess Lumber to “stay in business,” Marrs said Wednesday.
“If we do not cope with the labor struggle, we will continue to struggle,” he added. Mars noted that as soon as the equipment arrives, “no one loses their job.”
Planning Board member Anne Hochkin asked Mars about the possible impact of the building on the environment.
“The floodplain had pretty good water treatment, where that probably wasn’t the case in the recent past,” she said. “It’s not a giant building, but have you consulted with the State Department of the Environment when it happens there and has an impact on the environment?”
Marrs noted that the project’s impact on the environment should be minimal.
“We are placing this extension on the outskirts of the existing sorter building. The whole territory around it is already asphalted, ”he said. “We are moving the sidewalk up and we will continue to treat the drainage as it is now.”
The project was unanimously postponed for further consideration by the district planning council. It will then be considered at a meeting of the Planning Council in Cortlandville in March.