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Industrial valve distributor plans new office and warehouse project in West Seneca

An industrial valve distributor in West Seneca wants to build a $2.8 million office and warehouse building, but says it needs more than $140,000 in tax breaks from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency to make it work.

CPI Process Systems wants to construct an 11,560-square-foot distribution building on a three-acre parcel of land at 2800 North America Drive.

It expects to add three more employees in the shop, engineering and administration – with salaries averaging $60,000 – and will also buy or lease additional equipment.

The goal is to expand its capacity, handle project work more efficiently, and boost inventory to meet demand. The company is asking for a package of sales, mortgage recording and property tax breaks, and will also use its bank credit line.

"There is heavy competition in the valve industry," the company wrote in its application to the ECIDA. "We are hoping with your help to grow our business and better serve our customers."

Without the assistance, officials said in the application, "we will most likely remain as is" and keep the current workforce but without adding more staff.

Project expenses include $120,000 for the land, $2.41 million for construction and $255,000 for equipment. Funding comes from $1.92 million in bank loans, as well as $14,436 in mortgage tax breaks and $126,753 from sales tax exemptions, and other unspecified "energy assistance." The application did not estimate how much the property tax breaks would be worth.

A public hearing will be held at 9 a.m. on Feb. 25 at West Seneca Community Center & Library, at 1300 Union Road, but public comments will be accepted through March 26. The ECIDA board will likely take up the application at its March 27 meeting. The company has not yet sought municipal approval, but officials hope to start work by April 1 and finish by year-end, according to the ECIDA documents.

CPI, owned by President Andrew Christie, provides manual, pneumatic, electric control and safety relief valves, as well as lined piping systems. The company serves clients in the air-separation, chemical, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, and food and beverage industries.

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