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DYNABRADE FINDS SITE IN CLARENCE

The search by portable air tool maker Dynabrade for a place to expand may be over.

Company executives presented the Clarence Planning Board with rough designs Wednesday for a new facility on Shimerville Road. If approved, Dynabrade will move from 8989 Sheridan Drive in Clarence to 5630 Shimerville Road.

Plans call for a one-story 100,000-square-foot facility, with 75,000 square feet of warehouse space and 25,000 square feet of office space on the western side of property, said Dynabrade President Walter Welsch.

Dynabrade employees 165 people locally and 200 more worldwide. Company officials project that eight to 10 jobs will be added locally over the next decade, but the current space is insufficient to handle the increase.

The current Clarence facility can't accommodate the growth, and the sewage system there can't handle an addition, they say.

"We have no sewers, and we're on rock, which would be hard for Clarence to put in sewers," said Welsch.

Company executives have been searching since last August for a suitable site in Clarence or a nearby town, so employees wouldn't be forced to drive much farther, Welsch said.

Clarence officials, who wanted the company to remain in the town, had been trying for months -- with few results -- to oblige Dynabrade's needs. The main difficulty, said Supervisor Daniel A. Herberger, is the lack of industrial-zoned property in Clarence with sewer service. "They would have to put in their own system, basically," he said, adding that the town may be able to help find funding for a sewage system.

"We don't know whether we have the right conditions for economic development purposes, but there is help out there," Herberger said.

Meanwhile, Welsch had looked at two parcels on Genesee Street in Lancaster to build a 100,000-square-foot facility. Both sites were just three miles away from the company's Clarence home, said Lancaster Supervisor Robert H. Giza.

One was just west of Tops Friendly Markets on Genesee and another was on Gunnville Road and Genesee Street on the northeast corner.

Giza and Welsch met last December to discuss incentives from the Lancaster Industrial Development Agency, including a 15-year tax-abatement program and tax exemptions on building materials, computers and office furniture.

"He really wanted to stay in Clarence, but at the time, they couldn't find anything for him," Giza said. "But now it looks like they have."

Giza said he was a little disappointed to hear the news, but there are no hard feelings.

"I would have liked to have him in Lancaster, but I hope everything works out for him. And I told him, 'If it doesn't work out there, come back to see me. The door is open.' "

The Clarence Planning Board referred the project to the town's Fire Advisory Committee and the Traffic Safety Advisory Board for review.

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