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YOUNGSTOWN – The Youngstown Village Board will back developers in their bid for tax relief from the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency related to plans to tear down and replace the abandoned Cold Storage buildings with 30 new apartments.

The board’s unanimous decision followed a special meeting in Youngstown Village Hall on Saturday, when officials discussed the $3.4 million proposed project and heard public comment.

The IDA is expected to vote on the application for payment-in-lieu-of-taxes pitched by David Burke, of Burke Homes of Hamburg, and David Pawlik, of Creative Structures Services of Buffalo, when it meets at 9 a.m. Wednesday. The meeting will be held in the Niagara County Center for Economic Development in Wheatfield.

Youngstown Mayor Raleigh Reynolds pointed out that the Village Board’s tax relief support didn’t mean a rubber stamp for the development.

“All this means is that we support them getting a tax break through the IDA,” Reynolds said. “This doesn’t mean they’ll come in here and stick a shovel in the ground tomorrow. If they get their approval from the IDA, they will have to come back to our board with detailed plans for the project and go through the process.”

The Youngstown meeting drew a dozen residents, a few of whom addressed their concerns or opposition to the project. One spoke in favor of the idea.

The developers are requesting 15 years of property tax reductions and exemptions from sales tax on building materials and furnishing for the proposed apartments. It is expected to save the developers nearly $750,000 over the 15-year period.

Initial plans call for knocking down the abandoned, 100-year-old fruit-packing complex on Third Street and building a two-story structure with 30 one- and two-bedroom, “market value” apartments.

Burke and Pawlik proposed a $4 million senior housing project for the same site three years ago, but the board did not support them in their quest for a tax break at that time, and those plans were dropped.