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Erie County IDA grants tax breaks to storm damaged store

The owners of a Cheektowaga Christmas decor store and warehouse, badly damaged by last November’s record-setting snow storm, is getting nearly $218,000 in tax breaks through the Erie County Industrial Development Agency to help rebuild.

The storm badly damaged’s Union Road warehouses, forcing one to be demolished while causing extensive damage to two other sections of the warehouse. Another warehouse on the site requires significant roof work after part of it collapsed, while the interior also needs to be repaired.

The company estimates that it will cost $1.8 million to rebuild its warehouse operations.

The IDA also authorized the Buffalo school district to refinance up to $325 million in bonds it issued in 2007 and 2008 to help finance the major upgrade of the city’s school buildings. The refinancing is expected to save the school district about $29.5 million in interest costs. The district also is seeking a waiver from the state on a fee that, if granted, could save the district another $2.3 million, said Karen Fiala, the IDA’s assistant treasurer.

The IDA also is waiving the fee that it traditionally charges for refinancing projects.

The agency’s affiliate, the Industrial Land Development Corp., also authorized the owners of the Fox Run senior citizens complex in Orchard Park to refinance the $41.1 million in debt outstanding on the bonds that it issued nine years ago to finance the project.

Refinancing those bonds, which carry interest rates of between 5.1 percent and 6 percent, is expected to save about $4.7 million in interest costs, Fiala said. Fox Run plans to issue $55 million in new bonds under the refinancing, which will allow the owners to refinance its existing debt and raise additional cash that it plans to use to make improvements at the complex. The refinancing, coming at a time when interest rates remain near historic lows, also will extend the maturity date of the debt into 2035.