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AREA COMPANY EXPANSIONS OK'D

The city Planning Board on Wednesday approved $1 million expansion plans for two local companies.

Precision Electro Minerals Co. plans to double the capacity of its manufacturing operation at 150 Portage Road, adding three buildings and 12 employees by the end of the year, according to the company's president, Abdul S. Labi.

The expansion includes two 50-by-100-foot pre-engineered steel buildings -- one to house four fusion furnaces and the other to serve as a warehouse -- and a 40-by-60-foot maintenance building. The company currently employs 25 workers.

PEMCO makes fused silica for companies such as the Ford Motor Co. and other national and overseas manufacturers. Labi said this expansion is needed just to service existing customers. He foresees additional construction to further expand his business.

The Planning Board also approved plans for an 18,000-square-foot building proposed by National Vacuum Corp. for a vacant five-acre parcel on 47th Street between Niagara Falls Boulevard and Royal Avenue. The land is being purchased from the Midtown Little League, which owns 13 acres at the site.

National Vacuum is a 25-year-old firm that provides industrial cleaning, site remediation and process maintenance services for steel manufacturers, automobile companies, public utilities and chemical and bulk waste producers, according to John Kozlowski, president. A Niagara Falls location is ideal to provide around-the-clock quick response seven days a week to customers throughout the Northeast, he said. A Rochester location serves as a satellite to the Falls-based corporate headquarters.

Michael Macaluso, project manager for the company, said the business is growing and the company is "in desperate need" of larger quarters.

National Vacuum is in a rush to construct the new building because it is losing its lease in the city-owned Frontier Industrial Center at 4870 Packard Road, which is being purchased by a company that plans to use the whole building.

Both expansion projects are good news for the city, said Senior City Planner Thomas J. DeSantis.

The board also made recommendations to the City Council to rezone the entire south side of Niagara Falls Boulevard from Cayuga Drive to the city line from multifamily residential to commercial and to rezone addresses at 682 and 686 66th Street from single-family residential to commercial. The 66th Street rezoning will allow for expansion of Dunkin' Donuts to include a sandwich shop, drive-through window and more parking. That plan also was approved Wednesday.

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