BORDENTOWN, N.J. (CBS) – Ocean Spray is closing a plant in Burlington County and crossing the river to Pennsylvania. It’s a big economic blow and those who depend on the plant for their livelihoods are understandably concerned about the future.
Historic Bordentown is losing a piece of it’s history. Ocean Spray has been a part of the town since 1943 and locals are very disappointed.
Employees leaving the Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice bottling plant Wednesday, now know the plant will be closed by September of 2013, and production will be moved to a newly built, more transportation friendly, location in the Lehigh Valley.
“(They treated me) real well,” said Chris Adams, an emotional yet happy 29-year employee who said she was offered incentive packages. “Better than I have ever seen of heard of anywhere.”
Ocean Spray says the Bordentown facility is the oldest and highest cost facility in the manufacturing network, employing 250 people. Renovation doesn’t make economic sense in the long term.
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“I see devastation, I really do,” says Mayor James Lynch. “It’s a huge impact to the city.”
State Assemblyman Joe Malone says he tried to keep the plant in New Jersey with millions of dollars in state incentives.
“From what I’m being told, it’s a difference of $15 million between staying here and leaving,” said Lynch.
Bordentown’s business district relies on local business dollars and they aren’t looking forward to the closure and loss of regulars from Ocean Spray.
“It’s unknown right now what the percentage would be but it’s definitely going to have an impact,” said Vice Torpy of Torp’s Deli.