WILTON, Conn. — State Sen. Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) is blaming state policies for a decision by a Wilton-based pet food maker to expand in Indiana, not Connecticut.
Blue Buffalo Pet Products, the nation's leading natural pet food company, acquired land for its new Heartland Pet Food Manufacturing complex on 89 acres in Richmond, Ind. The complex will include a state-of-the-art pet food manufacturing plant, an R&D facility and an attached warehouse.
"The town of Richmond really impressed us. The location of Richmond is ideal for Blue Buffalo, and this coupled with the strong work ethic embedded here in Richmond made this the perfect choice for us," according to Kurt Schmidt, Blue Buffalo's CEO.
Blue Buffalo will invest over $100 million to build the new production and distribution facility, creating 160 jobs. The company could receive $1.6 million in state tax credits.
Construction is expected to begin this year.
But in a statement, Boucher and Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) said the "state’s fiscal policies have resulted in another company not expanding in Connecticut."
"Years of turning a blind eye to the problems and proposing the same anti-job policies have pushed people to look elsewhere and chased jobs out of our state. And as a result the middle- and working-class are the ones who suffer," the statement said.
“We have to change the way we operate to create an environment that supports the needs of our families and grows jobs. We cannot punish employers who are successful. We must create a pro-growth environment that helps all Connecticut businesses, not just a select few,” the statement said.
Last year, Indiana ran a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal urging Connecticut companies to move to the Hoosier state.
"The message was simple: ‘friends don’t let friends pay high taxes,'" the lawmakers said.