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Erie County Industrial Development Agency Board Approves 2013 Budget Totaling $2.7 Million, an Increase of 12 percent over the Current Year's Spending Plan

 Erie County Industrial Development Agency Board Approves 2013 Budget Totaling $2.7 Million, an Increase of 12 percent over the Current Year's Spending Plan


The board also approved $1.04 million in incentives to assist $7.29 million in industrial projects in Buffalo, West Seneca and Cheektowaga


October 15, 2012 -The ECIDA board today approved a 2013 balanced budget totaling $2.7 million, 12 percent from the current year's spending plan. The

2011 budget totaled $2.44 million.


On the revenue side the budget, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, key changes include:

-     7 percent boost in project administrative fees, increasing revenues from $1.4 million to $1.5 million

-     12 percent increase in annual affiliate(Regional Development Corporation and Industrial Land Development Corporation) management fees, from $295,000 to $329,000

-     11 percent rise in annual management fees charged to the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation and the Buffalo Lakeside Commerce, from $45,000 to $50,000 for ECIDA staff assistance

-     A $2.9 million decrease in revenues from sale of venture assets (Synacor stock), with revenues from the agency's International Division credit report services remaining steady at $56,000

-     17 percent increase in expected UDAG venture investment revenues, from $588,000 to $686,000

-     The ECIDA anticipates receiving $4.5 million from Erie County and National Grid for relocation of railway infrastructure at the former Bethlehem Steel site

On the expense side, prime updates include:

-     $2.2 million in Urban Development Action Grant (UDAG) Reflow Funds  targeted for several strategic initiatives; that list includes $1 million in venture capital co-investment, $500,000 in Forgivable Attraction Loans, $250,000 for Building Stabilization to reduce the need for demolition of salvageable structures, $200,000 for Brownfield Redevelopment, $100,000 for the Buffalo Building Reuse Project and $100,000 for Launch New York, to provide fledgling companies with high growth potential with seed money

-     Salaries and benefits will increase 2 percent, from $1.64 million to $1.67 million

-     Funds for professional services, primarily legal services, will grow 1 percent, from $193,000 to $195,000

-     Building operating costs are expected to climb 30 percent, from $37,000 to $48,000 due to ongoing repair and maintenance projects for the agency's office property

-     Expenses for public notices and marketing will increase 6 percent, from $88,000 to $92,000

In crafting the budget, ECIDA leadership also took note of risk factors which could impact revenues in the year ahead, led by continuing uncertainty of the economy, which could reduce fees gained from new projects.  Other concerns are potential new state regulations which could increase the cost of compliance and reporting, and the cyclical nature of UDAG venture investments which could rise or fall due to general economic conditions.


In other action, the ECIDA board approved tax incentives totaling $897,000 to aid Sustainable BioPower, LLC for its plan to acquire a five-acre parcel in West Seneca's North American Center Industrial Park to construct a biomass-based energy facility.


The $5 million project, which will turn organic waste into a renewable fuel source, will create four full-time and three part-time jobs when it is up and running.


The agency board also approved $114,000 in tax abatements for Wendt Manufacturing Corporation, a local company which manufactures vehicle shredders, recycling separators and scrap mental balers.  Wendt purchased the former Gibraltar Streel plant on Walden Avenue in Cheektowaga and plans to upgrade the existing structures and add a new paint booth facility.


The company expects its current workforce of 36 to grow to 45 over the next two years.


The ECIDA also approved $32,550 in tax abatements for Buffalo's Goldman Titanium, Inc.  The Dorothy Street business plans to invest $645,000 to expand its current plant to add more processing space and an employee break room.


The company expects to hire eight more workers over the next two years, bringing its employee roster to 56.