Pike County Courier By Charles Reynolds,Published Sep 11, 2013 at 11:11 pm
MILFORD — The largest food repackaging company on the East Coast wants to buy the old Altec Lansing building in Milford Township. North American Packaging came before the township planning commission seeking a conditional use permit for its Econo-Pak division, which will be repackaging cookies, cakes and candy. The company’s two biggest clients are Kraft and Bimbo. The commission held a special meeting Sept. 10 to hear P.J. Wiebel, one of the owners, make his request. The family-owned business is 35 years old and located in Newton, N.J. “A move to Milford is very attractive to us,” Wiebel said. The township had earlier granted North American a permit for the building on Routes 6 and 209. But when the company wanted to operate 24 hours a day, with three shifts, the commission asked for more information. Milford Township Supervisors are expected to hold a conditional use hearing on Monday evening, Sept. 16. Owner: Food strictly regulatedWiebel said government agencies hold the company to the highest standard because it handles food. Strict regulations govern security, safety, training, noise, and cleanliness, he said. A company representative said the facility was required to have a separate generator room to buffer sound, so that little or no noise leaks into the neighborhood.
The company is committed to moving as soon as possible, Wiebel said. It has entered into a purchase agreement obligating the company to pay rent until the sale is completed if not accomplished by the date they plan to be up and running, he said. In addition, North American will: Place 50 trailers on the lot, which can handle up to 75 Not use the exit on Old Milford Road, disqualified by the FDA’s Food Defense requirements Put 150 employees on the first shift, 150 on the second, and about 45 on the third Use Route 6 and 209 for truck traffic coming from the east, with no trucks through Milford Borough Commission members said the company not only met the permit requirements, but was a good fit for the community as well. Wiebel said he intended to hire 50 to 75 new employees over the course of the first year. In April, unemployment in Pike County was 10.2 percent. “Our goal is to grow,” Wiebel said.