Intelligent Fish starts work on the details


By Patsy Nicosia

Intelligent Fish, the start-up that wants to raise and process two million pounds of cohoe salmon—to start—in the former Guilford Mills, has begun working out the details.
Representatives ran through their preliminary application for the project for the Town of Cobleskill Monday; Supervisor Tom Murray and councilmen accepted the paperwork and forwarded it to the Planning Board, where the real work will begin.
“From everything I’ve heard, everyone’s been working well together,” said Mr. Murray.
“I’m hopeful.”
In October, the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors approved the sale of the former Guilford Plant to Intelligent Fish for $2.5 million.
The actual closing on the property isn’t expected until January or February.
Intelligent Fish President Dan McVeigh said they’re currently “running due diligence” on the facility to make sure it will work for them.
Initial plans, he said, call for raising and processing two million pounds of cohoe salmon a year and as much as five million pounds in three years.
The project will include two 44,000 square-foot greenhouses for hydroponics and space for a business incubator like the one Intelligent Fish got its start in, he said.
Intelligent Fish plans to use existing on-site water sources, Mr. McVeigh said, but is also negotiating to buy water and sewer services from the Village of Cobleskill.
The facility won’t raise genetically-modified fish or use hormones or steroids to increase growth rates, he said.
The first two phases of the project are fully cash-backed, Mr. McVeigh said, something the existing economy necessitated.
“It’s very difficult to get financing in this market…” he said.
“We have the cash and we’re ready to buy.”
Because the old Guilford site in located in both the village and town, both Planning Boards will be involved in the permitting process.
The village Planning Board, however, has agreed to be the lead agency on the State Environmental Quality Review process; a full SEQR is planned.
Andre Nadeau, chairman of the town Planning Board, asked Monday whether Intelligent Fish’s purchase of Guilford is a done deal or contingent on the necessary approvals.
“Do they have a shopping list? Or are they just going to buy it?” he asked.
Town Attorney Mike West answered that there are conditions to the purchase; Mr. Murray added that that even extends to cost per pound for the salmon.
“They need to be competitive,” Mr. Murray said.