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The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency completed more than $1.16 million in loans last year for business and development, and it approved an additional $2.17 million in loans that have yet to be completed, IDA directors were told Thursday.

"This is a lot of loan activity for the agency and it's just the tip of the iceberg," said IDA finance manager Gary E. Kelsey. "I can see loans going to more than $13 million."

Of the $3,344,000 in total loan activity, $1,166,000 was lent, and the remaining $2,178,000 has been approved but not yet funded, Kelsey explained.

The loans went to new businesses locating in Niagara County and to existing companies expanding their operations here. The projects created more than 100 new jobs, said Kelsey.

The IDA's current assets of $7 million will be boosted this year by $6 million from a trust fund capitalized by the New York Power Authority for economic development in Niagara County, Kelsey said.

In other business, the board agreed to grant tax breaks to Briody Health Care of Lockport for a $2.2 million expansion and renovation of its building at 909 Lincoln Ave.

Under the agreement, the IDA would take title to the property and pay the property taxes. The project would create five new jobs in the nursing and housekeeping departments, said Larry D. Witul, the IDA's assistant director. A public hearing on the project will be held at 5 p.m. Oct. 19 at Lockport City Hall.

The IDA board also approved tax benefits for American Shelter Inc. of Buffalo to construct a $4.5 million housing complex for senior citizens in Lockport. The company wants to build 80 one- and two-bedroom ranch homes and lease them to eligible seniors at reduced rates.

The project is subject to a public hearing at 6 p.m. Oct. 18 at Lockport City Hall.

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