By NICOLE GUGINO
OBSERVER Assistant News Editor
HANOVER - A lack of information from ConAgra on the future of the Petri's plant has let rumors fly about the company's intentions.
Town of Hanover board members and Silver Creek residents are not hearing much on the status of Petri.
At the Hanover Town Board meeting Monday, Councilman Fritz Seegert asked village Trustee Nick Piccolo what rumors he has heard about Petri's.
Piccolo said he has heard rumors of gag orders and moving equipment to other plants.
"The only thing, and it's still in the rumor stages, is ConAgra has more or less given (Director of Operations David) Bagwell a gag order as to what their intentions are. The only rumor that is going around right now is the two modern ovens and the two new mixers, because they are still shiny, they are going to be dismantled and shipped and possibly one assembly line that has been updated and modernized that may be taken out and moved down to Kentucky. But Petri's isn't talking," Piccolo said.
He said Mayor Kurt Lindstrom received a letter from Bagwell about the status of the layoffs and the final closure of the plant.
Piccolo said Petri's leaving complicates matters for the village in the future.
"My concern is ... everyone is aware of the Moose building, how they started demo-ing (demolishing) it. The village of Silver Creek has been stuck with a lot of buildings in the past ... where they have ended up having to demo and the cost has been borne by the taxpayers. We need to basically get something going with Petri's or ConAgra and have them either make a commitment one way or another as to what they are going to do with that building ... because you have a building there that is partially demo-ed and if that building happens to fall down into the creek and it gets to the DEC, there is going to be a big thing,"
Councilman Kevin O'Connell pointed out another building Petri's owns on Main Street (Route 20) is also in bad shape.
"If Petri's were to move out and leave both of those building, it would be a major expense," O'Connell said.
Piccolo added another problem for the village is that the building's storm sewer is connected to the sanitary sewer, which is one of the contributing factors for the DEC consent order on the village to update the sewer plant.
"We have another problem with Petri's, their storm sewer and sanitary sewer are crossed. You have to see what they are going to do with that or else it is another mess the village is left with," he added.
The town board will hold its next meeting on March 11. The village board will meet March 4.