By Seth Schmidt
Two months of brutal winter weather and heavy snowfall have done more than set new Tracy weather records.
The historic weather that’s buffeted the area since mid-January has also complicated plans for a new Chasing Our Tails pet treats plant in downtown Tracy. Heavy snow and ice roof accumulations have damaged the building at 434 South St., where Chasing Our Tails had hoped to begin operations by Memorial Day.
“We are still committed to Tracy,” comments Elena Kalogeropoulos, of Chasing Our Tails. However, because snow and ice accumulations caused “severe damage” to the former Tracy Bottling/Hebig Electric building, she indicated that the company is exploring other options for a main facility in the region. An alternate location, she explained, may be necessary for Chasing Our Tails to “stay as close to deadline as possible for commencement of production.”
The company still plans to open a Chasing Our Tails plant in the South St. building, Kalogeropoulos said. But the Tracy plant would be a “phase two facility,” to be opened “in the near future.”
The 434 South St. building will need extensive repairs before Chasing Our Tails production can begin, she indicated. Both structural and water damage occurred to the building because of the excessive snow and ice accumulations, she said.
At present, the company is “waiting for the evaluation and status of claim from the insurance company,” according to Kalogeropoulos. The roof and structural damage was first noticed about two weeks ago, she said.
She declined to identify the alternate sites Chasing Our Tails is considering “due to ongoing negotiations and insurance claims.”
Kalogeropoulos added that, “We want to stress we are not discontinuing development in Tracy, it is just delayed.”
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In early January, Steve Trachtenberg of Hudson, New Hampshire, and the owner Chasing Our Tails pet treats, announced his purchase of the 22,000 square foot building at 434 South St. Plans were to locate a pet treats manufacturing operation at the site, with the creation of about 25 jobs. Chasing Our Tails is one of several companies that operate under the umbrella of Trachtenberg’s privately-held company, New England Pet Treats.
An incessant series of winter storms and snowfalls began in mid-January. February, 2019 snowfall of 36.42” was the most ever recorded in Tracy.
Total snowfall between Jan. 18 and March totaled 67.83.”