Lamenting the failure of the Amherst Planning Board to act on the site plan for a new office building for Ingram Micro, the Amherst Industrial Development Agency Friday approved issuing a record $25 million in bonds for the 150,000 square-foot structure.
The IDA decision came about eight hours after the planning board tabled the plan the night before.
"I'm very concerned that the project was tabled," said James J. Allen, the IDA's executive director.
He said he's seeing a growing trend in Amherst -- by the town board and the planning board -- of stalling development with "nit-picky" issues.
"It's going to kill this community if we don't nip this in the bud," he said.
He said he hopes to meet with town officials to encourage them to resolve concerns about projects before regularly scheduled meetings of their boards.
Town Board member Jane S. Woodward said she's not sure she agrees with Allen's point of view. But she said local elections this November may be effecting the actions of the two town boards. "I think people understand what jobs and economic growth means . . . a minority makes a lot of noise" in objecting to projects like Ingram Micro, she said.
On Thursday the Planning Board tabled the Ingram Micro plan because of questions about the exact location of an internal road, a parking lot and a berm to screen adjoining properties.
James Zaepfel, representing Zaepfel Development Co., the developers, said he's concerned that the delay will cut substantially into the remaining days of this year's construction season. The project is supposed to be completed in a year.
The $25.75 million project would be an expansion of the Ingram Micro complex off Wehrle Drive. The new building is desired for an additional 1,200 to 1,300 employees the company, a computer products distributor and telephone call center operation, intends to hire through the year 2000.
Zaepfel Development intends to lease the property to Ingram Micro, which would receive a 15-year tax break. The company will make $3.6 million in payments to taxing authorities in lieu of taxes during the period. It would save more than $3 million in property taxes, $800,000 in sales tax and $250,000 in mortgage recording taxes because of the AIDA's assistance.
The AIDA also agreed to issue a $300,000 bond for a $700,000 project by Patrick Development of WNY Inc. Patrick, a general contractor, wants to build a 6,000 square-foot office headquarters at 8610 Transit Road, replacing a house that the company now uses for its offices on the site.
Patrick will realize $120,299 in property tax savings, $28,000 in sales tax saving and $7,000 on mortgage recording tax savings as a result of the IDA financing.