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Lackawanna salt facility seeking more tax breaks

The Erie County Industrial Development Agency board will consider a request this month by North American Salt Co. for additional sales tax breaks for its new road-salt storage and bagging facility in Lackawanna, after the total cost of the project rose by $800,000 because of unexpected problems with soft and wet ground.

The subsidiary of Compass Minerals America Inc. was approved last January for tax savings on a $7.3 million project to construct two facilities at the Gateway Trade Center for importing, packaging and distributing salt from the company’s mine in Goderich, Ont. The facilities include a 20,000-ton storage dome and a 28,000-square-foot distribution facility. But contractors “encountered very wet and unfavorable ground conditions” that required “de-watering” and extra work to build the foundations and utilities for the long-term. That drove the construction cost up by $800,000, to a total of $8.1 million.

If ECIDA approves the change to the original tax incentives, the total savings would be $400,000 on property taxes and $288,000 on sales taxes. Eight jobs are expected to be created, six of which now exist.