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Expansion at Medina graphics maker would add 50 jobs

Takeform Architectural Graphics is in line to receive $150,000 from a New York Power Authority fund to help the Medina graphic design products maker expand its operations in Orleans County and add 50 new jobs.

The funding recommended Monday by the Western New York Power Proceeds Allocation Board would fund a portion of a $2.6 million expansion project to build a 15,500-square-foot addition to its existing factory and allow it to expand into new products such as custom wall coverings and window films.

The company, which has 142 employees, had indicated that it is considering expansion options in other states, noting that about 40 percent of its business comes from the western United States and includes a significant customer in Arizona. If the company were to do the expansion elsewhere, 14 jobs in Medina would be immediately at risk of being eliminated, and other positions could be cut later, authority officials said.

If the expansion takes place in Medina, the 50 new jobs that are expected to be created over a five-year period would pay an estimated $43,000 a year. Almost two-thirds of the jobs would be targeted toward workers with low- and moderate incomes.

"This is pretty significant," said Dennis Elsenbeck, a member of the power proceeds board. "This type of initiative elevates the community, along with the firm."

Takeform would finance part of the project with a nearly $900,000 bank loan and $467,000 in equity, along with $616,000 in funding through the state Office of Community Renewal. Empire State Development also is offering a $250,000 grant and $120,000 could be provided through an Orleans County revolving loan fund.

The company had asked for $250,000 from the NYPA fund, but the authority's staff recommended the lower amount because of the high level of subsidies that Takeform is receiving from other public entities.

Construction is expected to begin this month and be completed by October 2018, the Power Authority said.

The Power Authority funding comes from a pool of money, now valued at about $4.4 million, raised from the sale of unallocated hydropower from the Niagara Power Project. The funding still must be approved by the Power Authority board of trustees.

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