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Introl Design plans move to town

A longtime City of Lockport business will be moving to the Town of Lockport, with a 100 percent tax exemption for a decade clearing its way.

The town Industrial Development Agency will hold a public hearing at 9 a.m. Jan. 13 on the tax break for Introl Design.

Also on the agenda that day will be a public hearing on a five-year aid package to reopen Spartech Polycom, an auto parts supplier that went dark in late 2009.

David R. Kinyon, town economic development coordinator, said this week that Introl is seeking a 15-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOT, arrangement. The company would pay no property taxes at all for the first 10 years.

After that, Introl would pay at 20 percent of its full assessed value in the 11th year, and that figure would rise 20 percent per year.

Company president Ali Shams said Introl will invest about $800,000 in a new 12,000-square-foot building in the town industrial park off Upper Mountain Road.

Shams said Introl has been in business since February 1970, when Bob Barry founded it in the basement of his home on Thrall Road in Cambria.

"We've been on North Street [in the City of Lockport] since 1978," said Shams, an Iranian-born electrical engineer who came to the U.S. that same year to begin work on an electrical engineering degree at the University at Buffalo.

Shams, a Clarence resident, has been with Introl since 1984. The company, which employs 15 people, produces a variety of technical products, including various types and sizes of brushless electric motors.

But its meal ticket recently has been railway electronics, specifically a detector that triggers the track switches or a railroad crossing gate when a train passes over it.

The North Street plant is only one-third the size of the one Introl plans to build. Kinyon said the company is pledging to add six new jobs within two years.

As for Spartech Polycom, the company produced polypropylene pellets that were pressed into auto parts. It was formerly called Huntsman Polycom.

Its plant, also in the town industrial park, supplied nearby Harrison Radiator, later Delphi Thermal and Interior, for many years.

But with General Motors resuming ownership of the Lockport plant and then going bankrupt, Spartech lost its customer and closed in December 2009.

Kinyon said that with GM bouncing back, Spartech looks to do likewise. The company, which employed 35 people at its peak, was down to about 15 employees when it closed its 39,000-square-foot plant.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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