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PENNSYLVANIAN BUYS F.N. BURT'S CHEEKTOWAGA UNIT

F.N. Burt Co. Inc.'s Cheektowaga Folding Carton Division was sold Monday to a Pennsylvania investor.

And Ross Feehrer, of West Chester, Pa., has been assured his new acquisition will continue to get cheap electric power for its carton-making operations.

Terms of Feehrer's acquisition were not released and he did not return messages left for him.

The New York Power Authority board Tuesday voted to transfer the Burt division's allotment of 600 kilowatts of low-cost hydroelectric power to Feehrer. The power comes from the Niagara Power Project in Lewiston.

The hydropower supplies about half of the electricity demand of the carton factory at 2345 Walden Ave., Cheektowaga.

The authority said Feehrer promises to fulfill the current commitment of 213 jobs in return for the transfer of the low-cost power. The previous ownership failed to deliver those jobs.

The company recently reported it employs 130. Authority and company spokespersons were unable to explain the failure to achieve the 83 other jobs.

Burt fell below its job commitment goal for three years running and its cheap power got cut by a total of 100 kilowatts last year.

In 1995, employment fell to 213, just 73 percent of its commitment level at the time. The company blamed the cuts on a downturn in the paperboard packaging industry.

Feehrer apparently only purchased the carton factory and did not acquire F.N. Burt's Rigid Box Division in Oneonta.

The company has been owned by Buffalo native W. Russell Hurd. He bought the company with his late business partner, C. Taylor Kew, in 1983.

It could not be determined Tuesday how Burt's sister company, GRE Fulfillment Inc., housed at the Walden Avenue facility, would be affected by the sale.

The Power Authority said Burt will retain its name. The Authority also said that Feehrer, who owns Chapel Printing Co. in Moorestown, N.J., will get 350 kilowatts of expansion power and 250 kilowatts of replacement power from the Lewiston plant. The expansion power is reserved for job creation and protection in Erie, Niagara and Chautauqua counties. Replacement power is a block designated to replace industrial power once producted by two Niagara Mohawk power plants for Niagara an Erie counties.

The seven-county Western New York region gets almost half of the available output of the Niagara power project, said Larry Frech, an authority spokesman.

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