Tools

No jobs lost in Beech-Nut move, but officials think Canajoharie could still lose out

By By NICOLE ESTAPHAN

CANAJOHARIE, N.Y. (WKTV) - When you think of Canajoharie, it's hard not to also think of the Beech-Nut plant. The big red letters that mark the building tower over the small village of just over two thousand people - but not for long.

The Beech-Nut plant will be moving soon to the Town of Florida, about 20 miles away. A company spokesperson says no jobs will be lost, but Canajoharie's Mayor, Leigh Fuller, says the village will still lose.

According to Fuller, Canajoharie's water and sewer system was upgraded for the plant's use in the 1990s at a cost of $12 million. And the village still owes $3.6 million on that loan - an amount that will have to be split amongst taxable buildings.

In addition, Beech-Nut provides the second-largest business in the area, Richardson Brands, with steam, without which, they too may be forced to move operations.

Richardson Brands is one of the nation's top suppliers of after-dinner mints, Beechies Gum and Gravy Master. The company also has been in Canajoharie for more than a century.

A spokesperson for Richardson Brands says they have asked the state for help in building a new boiler system so that they can continue to operate in the village. But word on that has been slow and coming.

The outlook may not be good for this village on the brink. But optimism remains solid.

"Do I think Canajoharie is doomed?" said Mayor Fuller. "No. The people are more resilient and we are going to find a way and another direction, but we need help now to find a new direction," said Mayor Fuller.

What's On