Industrial Development Authority to help Kunzler expansion with tax-free bonds

Last week, Kunzler and Company announced it would undertake expansion and create 25 new jobs for Northern Blair County.
Yesterday, the company learned the county would help with the costs.
At the Blair County Commissioner’s meeting yesterday, county leaders agreed to allow the Blair County Industrial Development Authority to float tax-free bonds to help the company with the expansion.
The bonds, to be issued by the Blair County Industrial Development Authority, are designed to raise funding for construction, purchase equipment and other associated costs.
The $6.5 million expansion includes $4.7 million in expansion to local facilities. The other $1.8 million will be used at the company’s Lancaster facility.
The bulk of the expansion will occur at the Snyder Township facility with a new building because of a high demand for the company’s bacon products.
The expansion will add an additional 22,000 square feet of storage and production space to the current 63,000 square feet the company operates with now.
The new facility will house Kunzler’s bacon processing operation and will include a new slicing and packaging area, two new smoke houses, storage areas for dry goods and raw materials, a new curing area and seven new tempering freezers.
“This will give us the capability to double our bacon production,” said Dave Grazier, vice president of the Tyrone Division of Kunzler and Company. “We are currently producing 250,000 pounds per week of bacon and this expansion will allow us to go up to 500,000 pounds.”
According to Grazier, expanding the bacon operation at Kunzler’s was a natural part of the company’s growth.
“We didn’t make any bacon here in Tyrone until the second year that Kunzler owned the operation in 1985,” said Grazier. “In just 17 years we have grown the bacon output into the third largest product that Kunzler produces. When you grow from not producing any bacon to 250,00 (pounds) per week in 18 years, it gives the company the incentive to grow more. We have the natural wood smokehouses here that lend to making a good product.”
Grazier also noted the expansion would create 25 new jobs for the area. He said this may be the start of more employment opportunities to come.
“We have three bacon slicing lines right now,” said Grazier. “With the expansion we will be adding one more and have room for another two. If the demand is there, we could add two more lines which would add another 36 jobs or so.”
The expansion project should be completed in late fall or early winter.
“Ground is to be broken in May,” said Grazier. “We have some upgrades to our electrical and refrigeration units to do as part of the project. We expect to be in full operation by October or November.”
In addition to the new bacon processing plant, Kunzler’s will add a new cooling unit behind the original facility in Snyder Township.