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LOCKPORT – Bison Bag Co., which specializes in manufacturing and printing packaging, has received a 15-year tax break from the Town of Lockport Industrial Development Agency.

The payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOT, arrangement cuts the property taxes on a planned 42,000-square-foot, $1.6 million addition to the company’s existing plant in the town’s industrial park.

Also, Bison Bag won’t have to pay sales taxes on the building materials or equipment connected with the expansion.

IDA board member Robert Lipp cast the only vote against the deal. “This is a company that’s making money, plenty of money,” Lipp said. “We’re giving away $230,000 in property taxes.” Actually, according to IDA Executive Director David R. Kinyon, the estimated value of the incentives is $270,533.

IDA member Sallie Reed said, “If they don’t go forward, there won’t be any taxes. It’ll be a vacant lot.”

“If we don’t give it, someone else will. Everybody’s doing it,” IDA member Duncan Carlson said.

James Streicher, Bison Bag’s chief operating officer, said without a PILOT, the project might not have happened.

“Because the competition is so tight, we would probably scale back or look elsewhere,” Streicher said. He said there would have been the possibility of setting up shop in Tennessee to provide packages for Rich Products.

Bison Bag expects to add about 15 workers to its current work force of 54. The addition will be used almost entirely for warehousing, meaning the space now devoted to storage can be converted to manufacturing, company president Scott Zgoda said.

The expansion will be taxed at 20 percent of full value for the first two years of the expansion; 30 percent in the third and fourth years; 40 percent in the five ensuing years; and at 50 percent of full value for six years after that.

The IDA also agreed to a one-shot brokerage deal with Pyramid Brokerage, which has brought a potential new industrial park tenant to the IDA’s attention.

Chairman Thomas A. Sy said, “If this project is successful, we’ll be paying a 10 percent commission (on the sale of the land).”

Kinyon would not disclose the name of the possible buyer.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com