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IDA RAN A DEFICIT OF $65,000 IN 2004, DRAFT AUDIT FIGURES SHOW

The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency ran in the red by $65,000 in 2004, according to draft audit figures circulated at a special IDA board meeting Wednesday.

The audit, by Gary S. Price of the Williamsville accounting firm Toski, Schaefer & Co., is not yet complete because IDA staffers haven't finished the narrative portion.

He told the board the agency would have shown a profit for 2004, but it had to deduct depreciation expenses on the IDA's property here.

The $65,000 was an operating loss. Price said the net loss, including non-operating revenue and depreciation, was $175,000.

The audit showed the IDA approved tax breaks for 11 projects last year, with the total value of the projects being almost $42 million.

The largest was the $13.75 million Heart Center of Niagara at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. The project expected to create the most jobs was the Delaware Manufacturing Co. plant in Wheatfield.

The 11 projects are to create 127 jobs within three years, while retaining 291 jobs.

Those projects generated $400,000 in fee income for the agency, but that figure was down 11.5 percent from 2003, contributing to the overall loss. Total revenue was 2.3 percent less than the $1.2 million the agency had budgeted.

Also, the IDA processed 19 loans last year, but only seven eventually closed. The total value of the loans was $913,000.

The IDA's subsidiary, the Niagara County Development Corp., processed 22 loans for a total of just over $2 million.

The Niagara Economic Development Fund, financed by the New York Power Authority but administered by the IDA, produced three loans for a total of more than $1.1 million.

In another item, the board approved a 15-year property tax break for a new 15,000-square-foot manufacturing plant for MotoRad (of America at Lockport and Walmore roads in Wheatfield.

The auto parts company's existing 20,000-square-foot warehouse received a property tax break in 1995; it would have run out in five years, but the board extended it to match the length of the factory's abatement.

The $815,000 project is to increase employment at the site from 11 to 31 within two years, according to the company's application.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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