Company proposes $20-$25 million investment during work session
By David Yarger
On Monday evening, prior to the Town of Wheatfield Town Board regular meeting, the board held a work session and heard from representatives of Moog Inc.
Site Manager Tom Klementowski and Environmental Health Safety and Security Manager Matt Martin presented to the board their proposal for a $20-$25 million investment to upgrade and expand its operations in Wheatfield.
The presentation stressed improvements over a five-year span for safety, aging facilities up to 50-75 years old, and also to create around 50 jobs in Wheatfield.
Moog is located off of Walmore Road, right next to the runway of the Niagara Falls International Airport. The company, based in East Aurora, has over 20 locations across the globe and creates systems for industries ranging from aircraft, defense, motorsports, space and more.
Another part of the proposal is to build two buildings; one to add an air scrubber, which is a technology to clean air before it reaches the atmosphere in the case of an emergency leak and another to consolidate fuel and oxidizer storage. Klementowski said the Wheatfield campus currently has two to three storage units for the fuel/oxidizers and he said "We'd like to consolidate that all into one building that's built to the current codes, has the secondary containment and ... would be attached to the air scrubbers, so any air going through their will go through the scrubbers."
Klementowski added that the company has around a two-year backlog in work and the improvements would help the company catch up and keep up with customer demand.
Klementowski said the company would do the same business, but, "It will allow us to win some new contracts that ... we can actually take. With respect to the types of engines and types of fuels and oxidizers, pretty much the same."
Another reason the company presented in front of the board was to seek a special use permit. The content hydrazine is listed as a detonable material under the town's code. Klementowski said the content is not detonable and compared it to gasoline.
Klementowski added that Moog had been in contact with the NFTA and the neighboring Niagara Falls Airbase and they were "fine" with what the company proposed.
Following the work session, the board held a public hearing on the matter and heard one comment from Keith Potter, first assistant chief of Bergholz Volunteer Fire Company.
"We're here tonight just to show our support for this expansion," Potter said. "That is in our fire district, so we would be one of the first responders along with Frontier and the Airbase."
Potter added that the improvements would benefit the companies, too, because the current fire hydrants are not used at the facility due to age. The project would implement new fire hydrants for safety precautions.
No action was taken on the proposal during Monday's regular Town Board meeting. For more information on Moog, visit its website at www.moog.com