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      Fears About Budweiser Plant Calmed

      A multi-million dollar new commitment from the company that operates the Budweiser plant in Lysander may be enough to calm fears over job losses. The company that owns and operates the plant, Anheuser-Busch InBev North America, just announced it will spend $27 million for upgrades at the facility. The Central New York facility will increase brewing capacity, add new packaging lines and upgrade the wastewater treatment process.

      Across the country, InBev says it plans to spend more than $1 billion in its breweries and other facilities that will, "support the growth of its brands and reinforce its commitment to local U.S. communities," according to a news release.

      InBev says the "future spending plans are based on no new or increased taxes or unforeseen events that would negatively impact Anheuser-Busch's business." Lysander Town Supervisor Barry Bullis told CNYCentral that the town and Anheuser-Busch are nearing completion of a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement that would work for both sides.

      There were a lot of smiles in the B'Ville Diner as news of the planned investment got around. Darrell White's company installed sprinklers at the facility and he hoped the $27 million in upgrades would mean more work for other local contractors.

      "It will benefit the economy that they're going to stay in here and companies will continue to work with them," said White

      It was just last fall, a laid off shop steward at the brewery in Lysander sounded the alarm over the future of jobs at the plant. At the time there was a call for a voluntary work reduction and nearly 20 employees agreed to the time off. General Manager Stephen McCormick told CNYcentral last November, "We review staffing levels on a weekly basis to ensure we are meeting the operational needs of the brewery."