Burgess Brothers sold to Rutland firm

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BENNINGTON -- Burgess Brothers Inc., one of the oldest companies in the state, has been sold to Earth Waste Systems, a Rutland-based recycling and demolition firm.

Earth Waste Systems Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Don Hubert Jr. said the deal was finalized on June. Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Penny Burgess, former vice president of the Burgess Brothers, said Earth Waste Systems will continue to operate the business under the Burgess Brothers name. The sale included real estate, including about 200 acres of land, a quarry, a gravel pit and a construction and demolition landfill.

"It was very tough decisions for the family to make," she said. "It was a long, painstaking process of decision making and we thought this was the best decision to keep the business alive and going."

Hubert said Earth Waste Systems has no plan to change the Burgess Brothers name.

"That will be indefinitely. Burgess Brothers is a well established name. "It’s one of the oldest companies in the state," he said. "We want to capitalize on that and we’re not going to jeopardize that."

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The company dates back to 1792, when George Washington was president, and members of the Burgess family first came to Bennington. The company has changed its focus several times, however.

The company was first run as a farm and then as a fish hatchery. It eventually evolved into a construction company about 100 years ago. Seven generations of the Burgess family have worked for the company. All have worked on the company’s property on Burgess Road, which was named for family members several generations ago.

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Hubert said the company plans to retain all eight Burgess Brothers employees, although at least two have been temporarily laid off while accounting systems are changed, he said.

"Initially, not much is going to change," he said.

The company his hoping to hire a truck driver and a mechanic, he said. Earth Waste Systems has already hired two employees from the former Bennington Iron Works, which closed last month, according to Hubert.

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The company believes the construction landfill can be better utilized, and can help them secure more business in the southern part of the state, Hubert said.

"One of the larger costs to us is our waste disposal. If we’re able to control those costs it makes us more competitive. It gets us down into southern Vermont more," he said.

New business will allow the company to hire more area subcontractors and boost the local economy, Hubert said. "We’d like to certainly get more activity. That’s going to come from the (construction and demolition) side."

Burgess said her father, Clyde Burgess, who served as president of Burgess Brothers before the sale, and a nephew, Glen Sauer, will continue as employees of Earth Waste Systems.

Contact Neal P. Goswami at ngoswami@benningtonbanner.com


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