Conn. wants mushroom grower

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Gov. M. Jodi Rell asked Sunday for a meeting with the owner of Franklin Farms, after the mushroom grower announced it would move from North Franklin to Pennsylvania, taking 380 jobs with it.

The company is citing high energy costs in Connecticut as the reason for the move.

“We did all we could to prevent this,” owner Wilhelm Meya told the Norwich Bulletin. “It is difficult for everyone, but costs continue to increase. We didn’t have a choice.”

The company, based in Franklin since 1981, produces about to 550-thousand pounds of mushrooms a week about 27 million pounds a year.

Rell said she wants to meet with Meya, as early as Monday, in an effort to keep the company in North Franklin.

“While I respect the difficult decisions management must make due to cost considerations, I feel strongly that we at least deserve an opportunity to share with the company what the state might be able to do to reduce those costs and keep these jobs in Connecticut,” Rell said Sunday in a written statement.

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