One of the factors which led to the decision by GreenField Ethanol to locate at Johnstown was the presence of the Port of Prescott and its massive elevator which, under ownership of the Township of Edwardsburgh-Cardinal, has become a profitable asset to the region and particularly the agricultural community.
While the GreenField plant across Leeds-Grenville County Road 2 plans to process corn beginning in December almost as quickly as it comes in, it has 15,000 tonnes of extra storage space booked at the elevator to use when conditions require it to go beyond its limited on-site bins.
The port also permits the company to order in by freighter out-of-area corn when there's a shortage in the region.
Under the auspices of township council and a port committee, the port has been successfully managed by Bob Hennessy. Now Bob is packing it in to be replaced by another Bob, Dalley in this case, a Prescott native hired for his management and technical aptitude.
Most recently, Dalley worked in management at the massive Wal-Mart distribution centre in Cornwall. While he's "a little shy" on port operation experience, Mayor Larry Dishaw figures he'll make it up quickly.
Dalley takes over as the port continues to pile up new business and increased revenues, $1.9-million last year which was about double 2006, and $2-million through the end of September of this year.
The facility is so busy that all part-time workers have been made full-time. Meanwhile, construction of a new hopper system to accommodate self-unloading ships and expanded storage space is nearing completion; and the township continues to pursue about $30-million in federal funding for a major wharf overhaul.
Things over at Wal-Mart must be looking pretty peaceful right about now.