Canton dairy still in planning stage


SALEM, Ohio – Work continues to progress on a dairy farm proposed to be built within Canton city limits, including attempts to annex land so the farm could tie into city water and sewer service.

Called the City Dairy Project, the proposed farm would include an indoor facility to be built on land being purchased from Republic Technologies, according to Bruce Williams, a planning analyst for the city of Canton.

According to reports published in the Canton Repository, “city officials have been told the farm will be a state-of-the-art operation that is built in phases.

“They were told the farm could eventually have as many as 10,000 dairy cows housed in four barns.”

Annexation. The two men who have proposed the farm, Jeff Weisel and Steve DiPietro, already own “major acreage” inside the city’s corporate limits intended to be used as auxiliary facilities to the farm.

The brownfield parcel is located east of Trump Avenue, north of 14th Street and adjacent to railroad lines on the city’s east side and is currently used to store steel-making byproducts, Williams said.

The annexation request is a cooperative effort between the city and Plain and Canton townships, known as a cooperative economic development agreement.

“Obviously, one of the first steps is to help get money to clean up the brownfield,” he said.

The townships endorse securing the funds and cleaning up the area whether or not the project gets off the ground, Williams said.

If the farm comes to fruition, the townships will benefit from property taxes and the city will profit from the farm employees’ income taxes.

In addition, the city supports creation of the farm business.

“With the economic downturn we’ve seen and with Republic’s bankruptcy, there’s the threat of no jobs. Large portions of the Republic property aren’t productive,” and this gives hope for suitable use of that land, Williams said.

More to go. According to Todd Locke, spokesman for Weisel and DiPietro, “we’ve still got a lot of things we’re trying to get accomplished before anything can proceed.”

“We’re still a distance off.”

(You can contact Andrea Myers at 1-800-837-3419, ext. 22, or by e-mail at


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