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Covanta Niagara submits application for assistance as part of $30 million investment at Niagara Falls facility

by jmaloni

Press release

Wed, Dec 12th 2012 12:20 pm

100 new jobs coming to City of Lockport as part of proposal to renovate portions of building in Harrison Radiator complex; combined projects total almost $50 million

The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency received applications for assistance Wednesday from Covanta Niagara L.P. and 210 Walnut Street for two major economic development projects in the cities of Niagara Falls and Lockport, respectively. Both applications will be voted on at the January board meeting after public comment sessions are held.

Covanta Niagara L.P. plans to invest $30.1 million at its Niagara Falls facility on 56th Street on various capital investment projects to enhance the company's steam operations capacity. The capital investments include funding of $5 million to build a new steam line; $10.5 million capital investment to expand steam operations; $9 million to build a new rail transfer facility; and $5.6 million to build a new special waste handling facility. Covanta Niagara L.P. employs 86 workers and, once the investment projects are completed, the company will add 23 new jobs increasing its workforce to 109 with a total annual payroll of approximately $10.9 million. The projects also will create 160 construction jobs.

"The Covanta project is the proverbial sweet spot for our agency in that it is a clean energy company, the project is located in the City of Niagara Falls and, perhaps just as important, the expansion will remediate a brownfield site," said Henry M. Sloma, chairman of the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency. "It is important to note that this multimillion investment will support the operations of Greenpac, which also benefited from the support of our agency. We are proud of the work of our board in creating and retaining jobs and the significant capital investment being made in the City of Niagara Falls."

Covanta Niagara L.P. is part of Covanta Energy, an international company that utilizes state-of-the-art technology to manage facilities that generate energy from waste. Covanta Niagara L.P. provides process steam for several companies in Niagara Falls that provide hundreds of jobs. The need for the expansion is the result of the construction and operations of the Greenpac paper mill facility.

The estimated cost benefit analysis calculates that the project will have an annual positive economic impact of approximately $37.8 million in Niagara County. Covanta Niagara L.P. is seeking a 15-year payment in lieu of taxes, sales tax abatements and a mortgage recording tax abatement.

A subsidiary of the Greater Lockport Development Corp., 210 Walnut Street, LLC plans to renovate two floors of Building 4 in the former Harrison Radiator complex at 210 Walnut St., in the City of Lockport. The space would be leased to Trek Inc., which has committed to being the anchor tenant of Building 4 upon completion of the renovations to the two floors.

"The fact is that Trek was leaving Medina and looking at other sites in New York state and locations throughout the country," Sloma said. "At least we were able to keep the existing jobs in Western New York, but the added benefit is the creation of the new jobs and investment and a re-use of a former industrial site."

The relocation of Trek's headquarters from Medina will bring 72 jobs to Lockport with the creation of 26 new jobs over the next three years. Trek moved its research and design operations to 57 Canal St., Lockport, in 2011. The estimated cost benefit analysis calculates that the project will have an annual positive economic impact of approximately $18.8 million in Niagara County.

Trek Inc. is a manufacturer of high-voltage amplifiers, electrostatic measurement instruments and a variety of other high-tech products. The company has outgrown its facility in Medina and needs a larger footprint to ensure continued growth. Trek has already sold the Medina building and must vacate by the spring of 2013.

A 10-year lease will be executed upon the completion of a $4 million renovation of the first and second floors of the building by 210 Walnut Street LLC. The third floor will be reserved for Trek's expansion over five years. Additionally, the company will have a future purchase option on the entire building.

210 Walnut Street LLC plans to start renovations to the 32,000-square-foot first floor in January in order for Trek to start manufacturing operations in the spring. Trek plans move administrative functions to the Trek Technology Center at 57 Canal St., until the remainder of the work is completed in the summer. Walnut Street LLC is requesting a five-year Opportunity Zone PILOT followed by a 15-year commercial PILOT, sales tax abatements and mortgage recording tax abatement.

About the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency

The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency is a not-for-profit public benefit corporation established in 1972 by the Niagara County Legislature. Under the provisions of the New York Industrial Development Agency Act, the NCIDA is empowered to actively attract and develop economically sound commerce and industry, thereby fostering job opportunities, general prosperity, and economic welfare for all residents of Niagara County. The NCIDA utilizes a variety of financing, tax incentive and job training programs to induce economic growth. Many of these programs can be employed individually to meet a specific need or assembled to form a comprehensive development package.

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