THE ERIE COUNTY INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY BOARD TODAY APPROVED TAX ABATEMENTS TO SUPPORT $12.3 MILLION IN PROJECTS WHICH WILL BRING 216 NEW JOBS TO THE AREA
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January 29, 2014
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The North American Salt Company plans to spend $7.3 million to facilitate the import, packaging and distribution of bulk salt from an Ontario mine to a new operation in Lackawanna. North American proposes to construct a 20,000 ton storage dome for salt transported by ship from Goderich, Ontario, as well as a 28,000 square foot packaging, warehouse and distribution facility.
The operation, which will utilize the former Bethlehem Steel ore slip for lake freighter shipments, will take up approximately six acres of space.
Construction costs are pegged at $4.6 million, plus $1.1 million for equipment and $1.5 million in soft costs. It will receive $1.15 million in real property and sales tax abatements to aid the project.
The new operation, which will create eight jobs, will be located at the Gateway Trade Center, at 1951 Hamburg Turnpike in Lackawanna.
North American, headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, provides salt and other minerals to customers through the U.S. Products include salt for de-icing and high-grade, branded and private label mineral products for home and business use.
North American is owned by NAMSCO, Inc., which is owned by Compass Minerals International, the largest salt producer in North America and the United Kingdom. It is also a world-wide leader in the minerals and specialty fertilizer business.
The ECIDA Board also approved a $219,000 incentive package for AMS Servicing, LLC to create a financial services call center at 611 Jamison Road in the Town of Elma. AMS, which is currently located at 3374 Walden Avenue in Depew, will relocate its current 270 staffers to the former Motorola plant site and increase its total workforce to 465.
AMS will spend $2.5 million on new equipment and other costs associated with setting up the new state-of-the-art call center.
AMS, a national servicer of residential and small balance commercial mortgages for Fannie Mae, Freddie mac and other large financial institutions and public investment funds, will also receiving $1.5 million in New York State Excelsior tax benefits.
Iskaso, which is best known renovation of downtown Buffalo's historic Electric Tower office building, plans a $2.5 million conversion of 337 Ellicott Street, to create a home for Big Ditch Brewing Company.
Big Ditch would occupy approximately 45 percent of a structure built by Verizon as a vehicle storage center. The brewery will utilize the former, one-story maintenance and wash bay for craft beer production, bottling, distribution and storage. A tasting room and support space for the new business will also be housed in the first floor space.
The new brewery will create 13 new jobs with two years.
Iskalo will also do a complete exterior facelift of the building, including new windows.
The ECIDA board also gave final approval to a policy designed to hold businesses accountable for project outcomes. The "clawback" policy allows the agency to force those receiving tax breaks and other incentives to return funds if they fail to achieve job creation and other promises made at the time financial support was approved.
Under the policy, the ECIDA spells out a detailed plan to follow up on those receiving benefits, including a due process system of warnings, reviews and hearings regarding the breach of contract. Ultimately, if the business remains out of compliance without demonstrating it faces extenuating circumstances, it could face termination of aid and recapture of aid dollars.