BURLEY — The city of Burley will install new water, sewer and stormwater systems for a new potato dehydration plant at the city’s industrial park, thanks to a $499,000 state grant.

Gem State Processing, which broke ground on its Burley facility in August, is the Idaho arm of the Oregon Potato Co. The plant will produce potato flakes that will be used in various products.

“This will help the city put in the necessary infrastructure,” for the plant, said Doug Manning, Burley’s economic development director.

Manning said the company will bring 50 new jobs to the area, providing opportunities for people to find a better job or just get back to work.

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter said the Community Development Block Grant was one of two awarded in the state on Monday. The other, for $319,990, went to Gem County for the construction of a new 6,480-square-foot fire station in Sweet, according to a press release issued by the Idaho Department of Commerce.

“These grants will go into basic infrastructure projects that enable our rural communities to grow and thrive,” Otter said in a written statement.

Manning said Burley has been very successful at getting these types of grants. With finances so tight, he said, the city would not be able to put that kind of money into a project.

“This really shows that the city is aggressively pursuing business and industry,” Manning said. “And it opens pathways for more businesses to come in.”

Laurie Welch may be reached at lwelch@magicvalley.com or 677-5025.


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