Surprise loan to help fund 127 Darien jobs
You just don’t know it yet.
According to a news release from the Department of Commerce, Birds Eye Foods is planning a $39.4 million expansion supported by a $1.3 million loan from the Community Development Block Grant Economic Development Program administered by the Department of Commerce.
“I’m pleased to announce a partnership with the Town of Darien to help facilitate the expansion of Pinnacle Foods Group LLC,” Gov. Scott Walker said in the release. “My top priority is to continue to invest in our communities and companies and create good-paying jobs for Wisconsin families.”
Elizabeth Rowland, spokeswoman for Pinnacle Foods, said 127 jobs would be created.
The company will use the money to buy equipment, according to the release. The township plans to use it for administration.
Cecil Logterman, town chairman, was surprised to hear about it.
“We knew about their expansion,” Logterman said. “They had to come before the board.”
The expansion will take place in two phases, he said. Phrase one will involve building a lagoon to handle the wastewater used for washing vegetables. The second will add on to the building itself.
“It’s going to be a nice expansion,” Logterman said. “We’ve always tried to be supportive of Birds Eye.”
As for the loan, Logterman said: “We haven’t heard anything. We haven’t gotten a letter or anything.”
The town has just started considering reconstructing some roads to handle the truck traffic and will be searching for assistance for that project.
Birds Eye is part of Pinnacle Foods Group, a distributor of dry and frozen food products. Its brands include Birds Eye vegetables, Duncan Hines baking mixes and frostings, Vlasic pickles, and Log Cabin syrups.