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Rosina Foods, Iroquois Bar get ECIDA tax breaks

The Erie County Industrial Development Agency, with little discussion, on Wednesday approved $261,500 in sales, mortgage and property tax breaks for a pair of business expansion projects valued at $3.5 million.

The agency approved $179,400 in tax breaks for Iroquois Bar Corp. in Lackawanna and $82,100 for Rosina Food Products in Cheektowaga, allowing them to add manufacturing, storage and office space.

Frozen-foods maker Rosina Foods wants to invest $1.54 million to renovate an existing underused one-story building to house a customer-care center, as well as its supply-chain, order-processing, research-and-development, sales and marketing departments. The company employs 30 people in those roles, and officials believe that centralizing and consolidating them together will make for more efficient communication.

Additionally, the new facility at 109 Industrial Parkway would also include a new test kitchen at which corporate chefs can prepare and present cooked while hosting customers in a new hospitality suite.

In exchange for the tax breaks, the company agreed to retain 29 jobs and add four within two years, for a total of 221 jobs in Cheektowaga. Municipal approvals are still required, but officials hope to start work imminently, with completion targeted for October 2017.

ECIDA board members noted the small number of new jobs, but also praised the company's efforts to hire what they described as "challenging" workers. "I think they're doing a wonderful job in trying to employ people," said Buffalo Common Council President Darius Pridgen. "This might not be a huge number, but neither is their request. They are trying really hard to employ a lot of folks that are not easy to employ."

Meanwhile, Iroquois Bar, a growing minority-owned fabricator and installer of rebar used in major local construction projects, plans to build a 13,600-square-foot addition to its existing facility at 155 Commerce Drive, providing more space for fabrication, warehouse and maintenance. Its existing shop area would be renovated to convert part of it to office space for five people, while the rest allows more room for rebar fabrication and manufacturing operations. The company also plans to purchase more equipment.

With the IDA's support, the firm will save $120,000 on property taxes, $52,500 in sales taxes and $6,900 in mortgage recording taxes, on a $920,000 project. The company, which now employs 65 full-time workers, would retain 10 jobs and create two new full-time positions, at an average $60,000 salary.



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