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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Senator Aubertine
Delivers Yet Again
For The North Country

$2m back on track for work at plant

ADAMS — State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine has recaptured a $2 million commitment to Great Lakes Cheese that was promised two years ago but subsequently lost in the exchange of power in Albany.
The state funds originally were procured for the company, which is in the midst of an $86 million expansion, in July 2007 by then-Sen. James W. Wright, Mr. Aubertine's Republican predecessor. The legislative grant was funded by the Senate majority, which then was controlled by the Republican party.
Mr. Wright resigned his seat the following January, and his party lost the Senate majority in last November's election.
When Great Lakes Cheese still hadn't seen the money, it sent a letter April 25 to Mr. Aubertine to find out what went wrong.
"It was complicated in that we had to identify the funds, go back and essentially start over again," said Mr. Aubertine, D-Cape Vincent. "But once we were contacted by Great Lakes Cheese of their concern about the $2 million, we turned all our efforts to getting this money turned around as quickly as we could."
The senator said his staff researched the issue with colleagues in the office of Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith.
Ten days after Great Lakes requested Mr. Aubertine's aid, the Senate majority asked the state Dormitory Authority to release the cash it had been holding for the plant.
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