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$400 million paper mill gets OK

A $400 million plan to construct a new paper mill in Niagara Falls won the support of the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency.

The IDA board last week approved a 20-year tax break for Norampac Industries' new Greenpac Mill plant on Packard Road in Niagara Falls.

The new plant, with a capacity of 1,500 tons of brown paper per day, will be built next to Norampac's existing plant. The site is currently occupied by an abandoned mill, which will be demolished.

The new 250,000-square-foot plant will create an estimated 110 jobs over three years, while the 120 workers already at Norampac will continue to work there.

"This is a great project for the City of Niagara Falls: $400 million worth of investment and over 100 jobs," IDA Chairman Henry M. Sloma said.

Greenpac Mill is to benefit from a hydropower allocation from the New York Power Authority, along with state brownfield tax credits for removing the abandoned mill. The IDA's tax break won't kick in until after the state brownfield credits expire in 10 years, although if the state were to cancel the brownfield program sooner, the IDA tax break would take effect immediately.

In other projects at last week's meeting, the board voted 6-2 in favor of a 10-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOT, deal for Great Lakes Surgical Associates, which plans to move from Elizabeth Drive in Lockport to an empty building at 160 East Ave.

The IDA approved a 15-year PILOT for David R. Chamberlain's DRC Development, which plans to construct a new plant for Edwards Vacuum next to a building Chamberlain's company already owns in Vantage International Pointe, the Wheatfield industrial park being sold off one lot at a time by the IDA itself.

Edwards plans to close its Grand Island plant, a Wheatfield location and facilities in Massachusetts, consolidating all operations in the new building. Edwards is investing $6.9 million in the project.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com