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IDA SEEKS MORE CONTROL OVER LOAN FUND

The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency Thursday authorized Board Chairman William G. Mayne Jr. to sign documents which, if approved by the New York Power Authority, could allow the IDA to assume greater control of the $6 million Niagara Economic Development loan fund.

Established by the Power Authority, the fund was designed to encourage job growth and economic development in Niagara County and the city of Niagara Falls.

The fund has been administered by the state Job Development Authority in New York City, an arrangement IDA Executive Director John R. Simon says has slowed loan processing for businesses because of the JDA's distance from this area.

Mayne said the arrangement "has been cumbersome for a period of time. It's a substantial pocket of money we hope will be more accessible to loan out, to be able to do (business) projects."

The Power Authority may take action on the matter as soon as next week, Simon said.

In other action, the IDA board voted to approve industrial revenue bond financing for a new subsidiary location in Wheatfield for a Buffalo metal processing company. The board also approved IDA tax abatement incentives for a second Buffalo company relocating to North Tonawanda and for the expansion of a North Tonawanda bus company.

The board approved a 20-year industrial revenue bond and a 15-year property tax abatement for Williams Advanced Materials Inc. of Buffalo. The company plans to build a $3.275 million subsidiary, specialty metal alloy processing facility at 2080 Lockport Road in Wheatfield. The project should bring up to 35 new jobs to the area by next March, according to the company.

Williams' new subsidiary is slated to produce structural metal alloy components for the telecommunications and electronics industries.

David J. Bartley, company finance director, has said a combination of an appropriate site, the availability of skilled workers and the willingness of the Niagara County IDA to "meet our expressed needs" helped the company to decide to locate in Niagara County.

The company had considered several Erie County sites for its expansion, including the Town of Tonawanda, Cheektowaga, Depew, Clarence and the City of Buffalo.

Williams Advanced Materials, a division of Brush-Wellman Co. of Cleveland, will continue operating its Buffalo facility as well as plants in Cleveland and Singapore.

The board approved a 15-year bond and a 15-year tax abatement, or payment in lieu of taxes incentive, for AMC Precision of Buffalo. The company, which manufactures custom and specially machined parts for the printing and air compression industries using computer controlled equipment, expects to spend $856,000 on new operations at 430 Robinson St. The company expects to add nine new machinist, assembler and laborer positions by 2002.

As part of the project, the IDA will purchase the property and lease it back to AMC.

For AMC, currently located on Rano Street in Buffalo, the project will save about $80,000 in property and sales taxes while yielding some $270,000 in payments in lieu of taxes for North Tonawanda schools and government.

T-NT Bus Service Inc. hopes to complete construction by early September of a 7,000-square-foot administrative building on its property at 665 Walck Road in North Tonawanda. A planned $604,000 project should yield a total of 18 new bus driver, clerical and administrative jobs for the company.

T-NT will also realize property and sales tax savings through a sale-leaseback deal with the IDA.

Meanwhile, the board of directors of the Niagara County Development Corp. Thursday approved a $160,000 loan to help Liftavator, a Lockport specialty elevator and door manufacturer, move to new facilities in Pendleton. The family company, owned by Roger and Patricia Grear with management assistance from Roger Grear Jr., expects to add nine employees, for a total of 26 by 2002. The company, which is currently working in leased space in Lockport, plans to build a new, 13,000-square-foot building on Donner Road.

The NCDC is a component of the county IDA.

In other NCDC business, the board approved two Microenterprise Assistance Program loans totaling $39,000 to a Niagara Falls electrical contractor and a Lockport restroom and gym locker accessory manufacturer/installer.

The Niagara County Microenterprise Assistance Program, operated through the IDA, educates and assists small business owners in the county.

Jeffrey D. Artieri will use his $25,000 loan to buy the assets of Switzer Sales Inc. in Lockport. A Switzer employee since 1991, Artieri expects to add up to five jobs to the company by the year 2000. Switzer, which worked on the Marine Midland Arena project in Buffalo, sells, installs and services toilet compartments, restroom accessories, gym lockers, wall protection and floor mats.

The electrical contractor P.B. Electric plans to use a $14,000 Microenterprise loan to buy equipment and for working capital. Peter M. Butry is president of the company based in Niagara Falls.

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