Waterford Snack Plant Looking to Triple in Size - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Waterford Snack Plant Looking to Triple in Size

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Expansion plans are already in the works, for "KLN Family Brands," the Minnesota company that bought "Troyer Farms" in Waterford this January.

The company currently operates on eight acres of land and hopes to expand by another 18.  Those acres of land will need to be re-zoned from agriculture to manufacturing before any expansion plans can take place.

Waterford's planning commission unanimously approved to submit the topic for discussion to Waterford's supervisors on Tuesday night. The issue will also be advertised in Erie Times News by KLN to ensure public awareness.

It's a step taken with the future in mind; KLN is still working on readying the old Troyer Farms plant to process food. It will make salty snacks under the name "Barrel O'Fun," with production expected to start July 1st.

Brian Garlick, the general manager of KLN's Waterford branch, says the company is currently hiring.

"I've slatedapproximatelyy 87 people for startup," Garlick said. Only a few of those positions have been filled so far.

"A lot of the hiring is going to be based on some experience. That's one of the things we really look at out here in Waterford. Hoping to get some of those previous people who already know how to make the snack foods we'll be making," he said.

According to Garlick, KLN typically undergoes rapid expansion after a new plant is established, which is why the company is already working on getting another 18 acres rezoned for manufacturing. The company eventually plans to use the old Troyer Farms building as a warehouse, then build a plant on the new lot for production.

"We have a veryaggressivee growth model. We could be as high as 200 people in one to two years," Garlick said. "We just want to make sure that Waterford can support that kind of growth with itsinfrastructuree. We're confident in the workforce out here so we're really excited to be part of it and to put people back to work," he said.

If the new land is approved, KLN could add about 500 jobs to the area over the next eight years.

One hitch that could possibly hinder development is if artifacts of historical value are discovered on the land - for example, Native American artifacts or even burial grounds.

Mercyhurst University will be conducting the archeological dig this summer to check for artifacts.
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