SILVER CREEK - The first fear in everyone's mind when it was announced ConAgra purchased Ralcorp was factory closures locally. However, Silver Creek Mayor Kurt Lindstrom reported Petri's Baking Products, a company under Ralcorp, will likely be safe from this.
At the village board meeting Monday, several residents spoke out in concern and apprehension about the purchase.
"I would hope that you would start to plan in the event Petri's is going to go away because I am sure that is going to happen," resident Nancy Clees said.
Another resident, Ed Newman, said he doesn't believe Petri's will close, but the village must keep an eye open.
"These big companies buy other companies because they want to be the biggest and the best. It does not mean they are going to close everything down ... We need to be frugal and wise and not sit back and cover our eyes and ears," he said.
In his comments, Lindstrom dispelled concerns of the major business's closure, saying County Legislator George Borrello (R-Dist. 4) has already reached out to ConAgra with local concerns.
"In regard to ConAgra, I had a meeting with (County Legislator) George Borrello this weekend. George took the initiative to write a letter to ConAgra and he has already heard back from them," he said.
He said the good news is ConAgra does not have any other cookie factories.
"With regard to Petri, right now ConAgra doesn't have any cookie manufacturers. They made this aquisition to expand their product lines and they are thrilled to have a cookie manufacturer. There is still time to work on it because the closing (of sale) isn't until March," Lindstrom added.
He also said Borrello has made it know to ConAgra the county is willing to work with them.
"George has already stepped forward and told them the county is receptive to them as far as development goes and they are thrilled," he said.
ConAgra, based in Omaha, Neb., and which makes brands including Banquet, Chef Boyardee and Marie Callender's, announced Nov. 27 it will acquire Ralcorp for $5 billion. In addition to Petri's Baking Products, Ralcorp also owned Carriage House in Dunkirk and Fredonia.
The village board will hold a special meeting with Wendel Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. Its workshop and regular meeting will be held Dec. 17 at 7 p.m.
In other business:
The village approved the purchase of a truck with a plow for the water/sewer department on state bid for $34,000. The department's three-year-old vehicle will be traded in for the new truck, making the actual cost to the village minimal. This purchase was made from the water fund.
The village moved $15,000 from the resurfacing materials budget into the vehicle repair budget to fix the streets department's dump truck.
Resident Anna Frederickson asked if the village had heard from the owner of the demolished property since it has been almost a month since the village sent a letter to the owner. Lindstrom said he had not heard from him and did not comment on further action by the board.
The board approved the aged and low-income disability exemptions to remain at $20,000.
Village offices will be closed Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.