LiDestri will move some Dundee jobs
DUNDEE—Changes are ahead for Dundee Foods.
General manager Joe Ferrigno spoke about plans to move some of the Seneca Street operations to Lee Road in Rochester in the Eastman Business Park. He said, “There are a lot of question marks. I guess we’ll move a lot of bottling.” The bulk operation, for example olive oil, could remain. Ferrigno said the company distributes olive oil for companies in large quantities, not for retail. Some of the cooking wine could also remain in Dundee after the change.
Ferrigno emphasized it will be at least a year before everything is decided. For now there will be no changes here and he stated all workers will be given the option to move to the Rochester plant when it opens. There are about 35 workers employed at the Dundee plant now and the goal is to keep at least 15 to 20 here. Ferrigno said, “We’ll do that as long as we can. The goal is to keep Dundee going.”
Ferrigno said the operation in Dundee has been kind of stalled with the village’s wastewater system, commenting, “Our hands are tied a little bit with the Dundee wastewater facility,” adding, “It’s not the village’s fault.” He said the local treatment plant is a residential system that was not designed to accommodate the Dundee Foods operation. The village has successfully applied for two grants totaling nearly one million dollars to upgrade their system, but upgrading the plant is not a quick process.
Ferrigno said the company is waiting to hear from New York State regarding the move to the Rochester facility, which is in an Empire Zone. Parent company, LiDestri Foods, was approved for $337,000 in tax incentives for the Lee Road property. They have been courted by a site in Columbia, S.C., but if they receive the incentives they have requested from New York State they will remain here.
The Rochester facility contains 652,000 square feet as opposed to 160,000 square feet in the Dundee plant. The new facility would receive utilities from Kodak. Another desirable feature is that the building is completely sprinklered, unlike the Yates County facility.
Ferrigno said there have been discussions about a possible wine consortium that could use the Dundee facility, calling it one of, “all kinds of things I’m looking at.” He said wastewater would be minimal for that type of operation. Ferrigno added, “There are all kinds of things I’m looking at.”