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I Squared R. Element Co. seeks to expand its plant, add 20 jobs

I Squared R. Element Co., a manufacturer of silicon carbon heating elements, plans an estimated $4 million expansion of its plant in Akron.

Company President Jack Davis said that, within the first three years of the project's completion, he expects to add about 20 people to the current work force of 80. The Erie County Industrial Development Agency held a public hearing on the estimated 36,000-square-foot expansion Friday in Akron Village Hall. The project also needs the approval the village Planning Board.

No one appeared at the hearing, presided over by Grant P. Lesswing, IDA business development officer, who said the IDA board is expected to vote on the project Monday.

Beyond the expansion, the project includes renovations and upgrades and the purchase of additional machinery and other equipment. The IDA's assistance on qualifying portions of the project would include a partial real property tax abatement and exemptions on sales, use and mortgage recording taxes.

The IDA would acquire or retain title to, or a lease-hold interest, to the facility and lease it back to the company, which would buy it at the end of the lease period.

About half the project's estimated cost, which could exceed $4 million according to Davis, is for a new electric substation. The company is not a customer of Akron's electric facility.

Davis, reached at his offices after the hearing, said the addition would be at the rear and about 200 feet north of the existing 86,000-square-foot plant that sits on 10 acres on the north side of Clarence Center Road at Cummings Road.

Brian Perry, chairman of the Akron Planning Board, said his panel had a preliminary look at the project at its meeting on March 14. He said more detailed information is required from the company, including the height of the new building. He expects an update at the board's next meeting on April 27.

The project also is subject to a state Environmental Quality Review and could face action by the Village Zoning Board of Appeals, if any variances from the village zoning code are required.

e-mail: fin@buffnews.com

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