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Aircraft parts maker seeks tax breaks for Orchard Park expansion

An aircraft component maker that plans to expand its plant in Orchard Park says it needs tax breaks to make the project "financially attractive" compared to its other manufacturing sites in the southern United States, Mexico and Asia.

ITT Enidine Inc., a subsidiary of White Plains-based global giant ITT Inc., is planning a $1.2 million expansion to construct an 11,500-square-foot addition to its 100,000-square-foot manufacturing plant, giving it more space to support engineering and production functions.

The company makes aircraft components designed to absorb energy, isolate vibrations and reduce noise. The addition would be used for manufacturing work that is similar to its current energy absorption products. The company will expand its electrical capacity at the facility and also plans to purchase new machinery in its next phase.

According to its application to the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, the company is seeking $61,250 in sales tax breaks, as well as unspecified real estate tax incentives. It may also seek a $40,000 energy assistance grant from National Grid.

ITT noted in its application to the ECIDA that the company owns other U.S. manufacturing operations outside of New York State, as well as in Mexico, Europe and Asia. In particular, it pointed out that the southern United States, Mexico and Asia are all lower-cost regions for manufacturing, so "the Orchard Park location needs the financial assistance that this program offers to become more financially attractive."

Without the tax breaks, it continued, "there could be a revaluation of where the additional capacity should be secured," taking away potential job growth in Orchard Park and raising questions about "where similar product lines and future expansion opportunities should be produced that are currently produced in Orchard Park."

 

The building was constructed in 1987, with additions for manufacturing and warehouse space in 1989 and 2008, respectively. The project site is in an existing industrial park on about 4 acres at 7 Centre Drive. Orchard Park Planning Board approval for the expansion is still needed.

Enidine was founded in 1966, and was formerly owned by International Motion Control, whose chairman, president and CEO was Patrick P. Lee. It was acquired by ITT in September 2007 for $395 million.

The company makes products for commercial aircraft, business jets and helicopters, with a customer base that includes Boeing Inc., Rotocraft and Raytheon Corp. About 70 percent of its sales are within the United States, according to its ECIDA application.

If approved, work would begin in October and finish by Jan. 1, with occupancy in February.

The ECIDA held a public hearing on the proposed tax breaks last week and will accept more public comments at its 95 Perry St. office through Sept. 26. The ECIDA board meets on Sept. 27.

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