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Kinyon to retire as Lockport development chief; supervisor interested in post

LOCKPORT – David R. Kinyon, a major figure in Niagara County economic development circles for three decades, announced Thursday he’s retiring at the end of the year as the Town of Lockport’s economic development coordinator and administrative director of the town’s Industrial Development Agency.

After Kinyon’s retirement was announced following an executive session of the IDA board Thursday, Town Supervisor Marc R. Smith, who is not running for re-election, said he’d be interested in succeeding Kinyon.

The choice is up to the Town Board and the IDA board.

“I would be interested,” Smith said. “I think I’m pretty good at it. … I’m really jazzed by this stuff.” Smith denied knowing Kinyon’s plans before announcing in May he wasn’t running for another term.

“My reasons for not running were my own,” Smith said.

He handled economic development matters himself early in his tenure as supervisor, but his schedule became too crowded, so he recruited Kinyon, a process that took two years. At the time, Kinyon was the executive director of the Eighth District Dental Society, a position he had held for seven years after serving for 23 years as president of the former Eastern Niagara Chamber of Commerce.

“He guaranteed me five years and he stayed seven,” Smith said. Kinyon is earning about $75,000 a year.

The town announced that a four-member search committee of town councilmen and IDA members will interview candidates from a statewide search, with the goal of hiring a successor by the end of November. No civil service test is required.

Kinyon, 65, said he will continue as president of the Lockport Locks Heritage District Corp., a city agency that oversees the operation and maintenance of the Flight of Five, the 19th-century Erie Canal locks. That’s a volunteer position.

Kinyon’s biggest accomplishment during his tenure as IDA chief was the recruitment of Yahoo, which has built two data centers and a call center in the town’s industrial park. The IDA also used eminent domain to take 91 acres from General Motors to expand the park.

Also Thursday, the IDA board granted 15-year tax breaks to Gooding Co., Moley Magnetics and Lacey Heavy Equipment.

The break for Gooding, a Davison Road printing company, is a scaled-back version of an expansion plan the IDA approved in 2013. The company plans to construct a 10,000-square-foot addition to its plant and ad at least six new jobs to its current 38. The project will cost $910,000 and the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOT, arrangement will save the firm an estimated $163,000.

Moley, located in the industrial park, will erect a new 15,000-square-foot building next to its existing 12,000-square-foot plant, where it repairs electric motors and distributes machine components to construction and demolition companies. The $1.12 million project will add as many as 41 jobs in the next five years. The incentives for the firm, which now employs 21 people, are worth an estimated $226,000.

Lacey is moving its heavy equipment repair business from Royalton to a vacant building on Dysinger Road, where it plans a 3,000-square-foot addition, doubling the size of the existing structure, as well as a separate 80-by-80-foot workshop. The $825,000 project is to create five jobs on top of the company’s current 10, and the breaks would save the company an estimated $100,000.

Kinyon said all three firms will have an 80 percent discount of property taxes in the first two years and 70 percent in years 3 and 4, followed by five years of a 60 percent break and six years of a 50 percent discount.