NORTH TONAWANDA – Armstrong Pumps wants to expand its operations and build on the last unsold property in the Buffalo Bolt Industrial Park.
The Canadian company, which has 148 employees in the city, has outgrown its buildings on East Avenue and would like to buy eight adjacent acres for $40,000.
“Currently the facility is old,” said Jerry Najuch, logistics manager, who spoke to the Common Council at its workshop session Tuesday. “It has a poor customer first impression.”
Armstrong makes pumps that distribute water in high-rise buildings. Its North Tonawanda operation is in a former Roblin Steel building, which is inefficient, Najuch said. The company would like to build a new, environmentally “green” building and find ways to collaborate with the other two owners of industrial park property: Taylor Devices, maker of shock absorbers, and Aquasol, manufacturer of welding-related material used in oil refineries and nuclear plants.
Armstrong’s headquarters are in Toronto, but its biggest markets are in the United States, which makes North Tonawanda a strategic location, Najuch said.
The company employs 750 at locations that include China, India and England, and has a “double digit growth rate every year,” he said, adding that Armstrong would hire 25 to 50 new workers in North Tonawanda in the “near future.”
Council President Richard Andres said Armstrong’s offer was appealing. “We’re looking at making sure it gets developed quickly,” he said.
Also at the meeting, Aldermen Richard Andres and Eric Zadilka and Alderwoman Nancy Donovan overruled Aldermen Malcolm Needler and Russ Rizzo and agreed to alter the mayor’s budget so that the Fire Department has money to hire one new firefighter instead of two, allowing police to hire one officer, instead of none, as the mayor proposed.
Copies of the $35 million proposed budget, which does not raise taxes, will be available for public review Friday.