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IDA takes steps to help manufacturer

An expanding ball-bearing inspection and manufacturing firm is expected to take up residence in 2010 at the former VanDerHorst Plant 2, a Brownfields site where massive remains of chromium plating and electroplating operations were dug up during the 1990s in a $6 million government cleanup.

The Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency board of directors took preliminary steps during a special Monday afternoon session to back Markjon Properties' project. Markjon will build a new 20,000-square-foot building at 1601 Johnson St. to house manufacturing tenant Napoleon Engineering Services.

Markjon Properties is owner of the 2.2-acre site and will invest about $1.6 million in the site development and building construction. Co-owner Jon Stranburg requested a 15-year manufacturing PILOT agreement from the IDA, along with state sales tax exemptions totaling about $700,000 and mortgage recording tax and real property tax abatements of about $87,000.

Markjon and Napoleon have also put in a request for $175,000 in economic development funds from Cattaraugus County's casino proceeds. The project is also eligible for Empire Zone credits, and its bank financing of at least $850,000 will be secured by a mortgage.

IDA Executive Director Corey Wiktor said the board is excited to assist Napoleon's growth and expansion of the county's employment and tax base. As a global business serving Fortune 500 customers, the project is expected to help Napoleon remain competitive on the world market.

"With the Empire Zone going away next year, anything that we can do to assist the employment and tax base is paramount," Wiktor said.

The IDA agreed to set a public hearing on the Markjon project, to accept a finding of no significant environmental impacts and to support the Olean City Planning Board as lead agency in the project's environmental review. As part of the CCIDA's backing, Markjon Properties was named as CCIDA's agent in the undertaking.

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