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BOARD APPROVES ALEXANDER AS IDA ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR

Richard Alexander of Fredonia is the new administrative director of the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency.

The IDA board of directors unanimously approved Alexander, who is chief executive officer of Chautauqua Opportunities. The stipend was set at $18,000 a year.

County Executive Mark Thomas, who recommended Alexander for the post, also has appointed him director of economic development for the county at a salary of $64,000 a year. That appointment is awaiting confirmation by the County Legislature.

Both the Agriculture and Economic Development Committee of the Legislature and the IDA board met Friday morning at Jamestown Community College.

The committee voted 2-2 along party lines on appointing Alexander to the economic development post. Legislator Leon Beightol, D-Falconer, was absent. The committee will report to the Legislature on the appointment but will not make a recommendation.

County Attorney Fred Larson added that the new charter does not require legislative confirmation of the county executive's appointments. The code that accompanied the old charter required confirmation, he explained.

"We have a new charter and an old code," he said.

The Legislature has 13 Democrats and 12 Republicans. Thomas is a Democrat.

In other business, the IDA board gave preliminary approval for a tax lease and payment in lieu of taxes for a $1.3 million project by Innovative Tool & Machine, now located on Hopkins Avenue in Jamestown. The company is purchasing a new facility on Hunt Road in the Town of Busti, where it will add to an existing building and bring in new machinery. The company expects to add 14 jobs in three years, according to Douglas Swanson, one of the owners.

The company designs and manufactures machinery for other manufacturers, such as Cummins Engine Co. and Valeo in Jamestown.

As part of the IDA agreement, the assessment will be frozen for 10 years on the existing building at the Hunt Road location. The addition will have the 50 percent abatement allowed on new construction.

The board also approved a $50,000 loan for Fancher Chair Co., South Work Street, Falconer, from the Chautauqua Revolving Loan Fund. The company is expanding and needs the funds for a new lathe, according to President L. Bruce Erickson.

"Sales are up, and this is part of a $200,000 expansion. We have strong demand and need to keep growing," he said.

The expansion is expected to add five jobs in three years.

The board also approved donating old IDA computers to the county for use in the county's computer training program.

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