Cutlery future in question

Village residents and former employees of the Camillus Cutlery who were expecting closure after the Dec. 5 auction of the property are going to have to wait.

Green Leaf Holdings I, a real-estate company based in Delaware, purchased the property with a high bid of $230,000 at the Camillus Town Hall last Wednesday. It was purchased "as-is" by the buyer, and included three separate parcels for one price. According to Broztek's Real Estate Auction, who conducted the sale, the three parcels that compose the property are assessed at $550,000, $1,700 and $230,000 respectively.

Mark Schmutz, who identified himself as a representative of Green Leaf Holdings I, placed the winning bid. What does the company plan on doing with the property?

"I don't know. I guess they're going to try and sell it," Schmutz said. There was at least one representative on hand from the Pyramid Companies at the auction.

Attempts to contact Green Leaf were unsuccessful. Brown Bark I, a Texas-based company, had held control of the factories' assets prior to the auction.

Schmutz won the bidding against four other potential buyers. The most serious of which were John Sposato of Sposato Cos., which owns the Pilot travel center on Seventh North Street, and James Raite of Syracuse. Sposato's highest bid was $195,000 while Raite bid $225,000 before passing to Schmutz's winning bid.

The cutlery filed for bankruptcy and ceased operation on Feb. 28. Employees went on strike for months in 2006 after the company proposed stiff wage cuts in order to compete with overseas competition. Employees finally accepted the contract in November of last year, but laid off several employees before filing for bankruptcy.

On Sept. 18, the product brand name and property of the company were acquired by Acme United in a bankruptcy action for $200,000. Over 3,000 items, including machines, heavy equipment, industrial tools, furniture and about 300,000 knives that were in the production process were sold during a three-day auction in mid-September.

The cutlery was at its peak during World War II, when fifteen million knives were shipped to the allied forces and the company employed 700 people. When the plant closed in February, there were 35 employees.

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