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Laborers Local 91 asks for tax break

The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency learned last week that Laborers Local 91 needs its help in reducing property taxes on its planned new training center.

Local 91 is a tax-exempt not-for-profit organization, but it also cannot own land. The union has set up a realty corporation to take title to 18 acres of land in the IDA's Vantage International Pointe industrial park, which the IDA agreed to sell earlier this year.

The union plans to build a 40,000-square-foot construction trades training center there, and applied for a 15-year property tax break.

IDA Marketing and Project Manager Susan C. Langdon told the board that the issue of whether the new corporation would have to pay taxes was reviewed by the agency's attorney, Mark D. Gabriele.

"It was determined the organization would have to pay property taxes," Langdon said. So the IDA board voted to go ahead with the procedure to grant Local 91 a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOT, agreement. The board's final vote is to take place Aug. 16.

Also last week, the board scheduled a special meeting for 9 a.m. Aug. 1 to act on a 15-year PILOT sought by Ascension Industries of North Tonawanda, which is acquiring a new plant in that city.

"They have financial closing requirements, and we're trying to get them under the wire," IDA Chairman Henry M. Sloma explained.

The board also approved PILOTs for three other applicants, including the builders of a new Holiday Inn Express at Niagara Falls Boulevard and 101st Street in Niagara Falls.

M&S Hotels receives a 10-year tax break on the 87-room, four-story hotel. It will save an estimated $1.6 million in taxes during the decade, but it will make $1.2 million in payments.

Windrose Medical Properties of Toledo, Ohio, was allowed to assume the five years remaining on the PILOT held by Calamar, a Wheatfield company, on the Summit Wellness Center on Williams Road. Windrose is buying the building from Calamar for $5.65 million.

"The project will be operated as is. The only change is the ownership structure," said IDA Assistant Director Larry D. Witul.

Bridge Components Inc. and its JS Holdings real estate holding company won a 15-year PILOT on a new 3,600-square-foot office building it intends to build next to the former Great Lakes Metal plant on Cory Road in Wheatfield.

Operating under the name Niagara Bridge & Rail, it intends to manufacture bridge parts in the old plant and will assume about eight years left on the PILOT the IDA granted to the former owners in 2000.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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