New processing plant opens in Steuben County. Officials optimistic about manufacturing in Southern Tier
The town of Bath in Steuben County celebrated the opening of a multimillion-dollar wood-siding processing plant, last week. Local officials are optimistic about the resurgence of manufacturing in the Southern Tier.
A massive new building sits on 75 acres of land on what is being called the Route 54 corridor just behind the Steuben County Jail.
The facility is the new home to a Nashville-based construction materials company, LP Building Solutions, and cost more than $24 million to build.
LP is a publicly traded company. In 2022, revenue for the firm was nearly $4 billion.
The upstate New York location is a processing plant. Engineered wood siding is shipped there, painted and finished at the facility. It is then packaged and shipped throughout the Northeast U.S. and eastern Canada.
“A facility like this is huge and shows that manufacturing is still alive and well, and can be done in New York state," said state Senator Tom O’Mara who represents parts of the Southern Tier. "Despite all the obstacles and hurdles and the cost of doing business in New York, it's critically important that we're able to put together projects like this, because I'm a firm believer that manufacturing needs to be the foundation of our economy, and from manufacturing, other businesses and other industries will grow off of that.”
Currently, LP has 35 employees working at the new Bath location. The company said the plant will eventually hire 60 employees in total and the majority of its workers will be hired locally.
Steuben County Manager Jack Wheeler said even though it is a low workforce count for a global company like LP, the area is going to see economic benefits in the long run.
“That's what you're seeing with automation of everything nowadays, that your manufacturing facilities, you're getting less employees than maybe before more automated processes,” expressed Wheeler. “But the ancillary impacts that are going to be suppliers of LP that might look to relocate here as well. So it's that ripple effect. It might not be the same level of jobs that we might have 30 years ago for a manufacturing facility. But the fact that they're here is amazing and we’re just excited for the growth.”
The land where the facility was built was gifted by the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency to LP in order to secure the deal. The land was assessed at $379,000. The deal also included a more than $4 million tax-incentive package and access to a commercial railway.
The agency’s Jamie Johnson said B&H Railroad, which runs through the county, is back in operation for commercial service after 27 years of being out of commission in Bath.
“Without that rail line, LP would have never located there because they are utilizing it to bring in raw material and product from other plants that they have, to be finished here,” said Johnson.
Johnson anticipated the frequency of trains in and out of Bath will be approximately 20 cars, four times per week.