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Community Bank’s planned $6 million back-office operation in Cattaraugus County got a financial boost on Tuesday.

The Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency approved incentives for the project: a 10-year payment in lieu of taxes agreement, as well as a sales tax abatement, estimated at $300,000, for furnishings, fixtures and materials related to the project.

The bank plans to build a loan and mortgage operation on Route 417 in Allegany, across from St. Bonaventure University. “In a perfect world, they’re hoping to open by year’s end,” said Corey Wiktor, the CCIDA’s executive director.

The project solidifies Community Bank’s presence in the county, Wiktor said.

Last year, Community Bank was planning to put the loan and mortgage operation into an empty Olean school building. But that idea was scrapped in the face of higher-than-projected costs, setting in motion the search that culminated in the choice of the Allegany location.

Community Bank is headquartered near Syracuse and has 34 branches in Western New York, including southern Erie County, plus an investment management firm in Williamsville and a brokerage firm in Lockport.

Also Tuesday, the bank reported an increase in its first-quarter earnings. Its net income rose 9.5 percent to $22.2 million, from $20.2 million a year earlier. Its diluted earnings per share rose 8 percent to 54 cents from 50 cents a year earlier.

Community Bank said its first quarter net income and noninterest income – which is from sources such as fees – were the highest quarterly amounts ever recorded by the company. Its noninterest income was $28.4 million.

The bank’s total revenue for the quarter was $88.5 million, up 4.7 percent from a year ago.

email: mglynn@buffnews.com