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Buffalo Filter moving to Lancaster
Device maker expected to seek tax breaks

Buffalo Filter is planning to build a new factory in Lancaster that would be nearly double the size of the two sites the medical device manufacturer currently operates in Amherst.

The company is expected to seek tax breaks through the Lancaster Industrial Development Agency next month to aid the $7.8 million project, which would involve constructing a 50,000-square-foot factory on 9.5 acres at 5592 Genesee St.

"This is a big project," said Paul R. Leone, a consultant for the Lancaster development agency.

The project would allow Buffalo Filter to consolidate leased facilities at 595 Commerce Drive and 155 Pineview Drive in Amherst, which total about 28,000 square feet, into a single plant nearly twice as large, Lancaster agency officials said.

The company, which now has 65 full-time employees, expects to add five new workers once the new plant is completed and could add as many as 25 additional workers within three years, Leone said. The Lancaster site has enough room to allow the plant to expand to as much as 100,000 square feet, development agency officials said.

Buffalo Filter selected the Lancaster site after a 2008 plan to build a 40,000-square-foot factory in the Clarence Industrial Park fell through. The company also had been courted by states in the South, Leone said Tuesday.

Leone said the value of the tax breaks that could be granted to Buffalo Filter still were being determined, depending on the level of incentives the company qualifies for under the new three-tiered policy adopted by the Buffalo Niagara region's development agencies earlier this year.

The company could be eligible for the highest level of incentives available through local development agencies, Leone said. That would mean Buffalo Filter could receive a 100 percent break on its property taxes for seven years and then pay taxes based on a scale that rises by 10 percent a year during each of the final three years of the agreement.

Chris Palmerton bought the assets of Buffalo Filter out of bankruptcy in 1995 and started making bio-hazard "smart filters" that enhance users' safety.

The company's filters clear the air in laser-surgery operating rooms, where smoke that can carry viruses and other hazards pose threats.

e-mail: drobinson@buffnews.com

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