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Buffalo Niagara YMCA exploring financing options for new Lockport facility

The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency on Wednesday delayed action until June 14 on tax-exempt bonding authority sought by the Buffalo Niagara YMCA for its new facility in the Town of Lockport.

"They are still investigating various options regarding their financing," IDA attorney Mark J. Gabriele said.

The project has yet to be approved by the Town of Lockport Planning Board, which will hold a public hearing on it at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall, 6560 Dysinger Road.

"They still have some engineering issues to address, so I don't know if they'll get approval this month," said Brian M. Belson, the town's chief building inspector. He said the YMCA also was asked to submit a traffic study on the impact of the project.

$15 million YMCA in Town of Lockport to replace 1926 building on East Avenue

The YMCA plans to build a 52,000-square-foot facility on Snyder Drive to replace the current location on East Avenue in the City of Lockport. The town Zoning Board of Appeals has granted a height variance allowing the building to exceed the 35-foot height limit in a residential zone, Belson said.

According to the YMCA's application, it intended to issue about $9.7 million in tax-exempt bonds toward its estimated $17 million project. However, the bonding permission approved the County Legislature last week allowed the YMCA to offer as much as $17 million in bonds. The borrowing would create a debt for the YMCA, not the county.

The application said the YMCA intends to take out a $450,000 bank loan for the Lockport project. The YMCA also asked the IDA for a mortgage tax exemption that would save it an estimated $100,000.

Six full-time and 17 part-time employees now work at the existing Lockport YMCA. The YMCA promised the IDA that it will add seven full-time and 12 part-time jobs after the new facility opens.

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