ELLICOTTVILLE - Members of the Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency have moved ahead unanimously on three projects to help build the region at their Feb. 13 meeting, according to Executive Director Corey Wiktor.
The first project on the docket was a plan to transform $10 million of bond issuance to St. Bonaventure University from a taxable commercial bond to tax-exempt funds. The money will be going toward freshman dormitory upgrades and renovations to heating and cooling systems in Devereaux and Robinson-Falconio halls, as well as various maintenance projects around campus that have been deferred for financial reasons.
"It is a huge savings that allows St. Bonaventure to do more with the funds they can get," Wiktor said. "There is usually a net of 2 percent difference on the rates they can reduce to, producing a substantial savings. No funds are coming from the IDA, nor the county in this. It is just converting the bonds they are receiving."
The project is expected to offer work to local contractors to complete the renovations, but that is not where the project is meant to benefit, Wiktor said.
"St. Bonaventure University is an economic engine for the area. This project is meant to improve the student experience and to stay competitive with other schools in the area," he said. "Once everything is complete, the school is looking to have an additional 27 beds for incoming freshmen in the dorms."
Another project approved by the full board will see the renovation of a couple buildings in the Olean area that hold a bit of history. Four Mile Brewing Company officials asked the county IDA to approve a sale/leaseback to aid in the development of their Greene Street facility.
The buildings started life as a brewery in the pre-Prohibition era. Those buildings, enduring years of neglect and multiple owners, will be restored to their mission as a brewing facility, according to the application. The smaller front building will be a tap room and initial brewing facility, with the much larger back building housing dry goods and serving as a shipping building.
The tap room building will be able to seat 60 people, offering drinks and a sandwich, according to previous interviews. The smaller building will also house offices and brewing operations.
The total project amount for the facility is estimated at $854,000, according to Wiktor.
"We are excited to get behind such a project and see it move forward," he said. "With the renovations and everything the project encompasses, it is really a testament to the commitment the principles have to be a part of the community and local events. The brewing industry has really taken off and these guys are looking to get a piece of that. It's great to see a startup like this. I think this is the right path."
Finally, the members of the board heard an application from MJ Painting of Olean, asking for a sale/leaseback option to aid in the support of a construction project that will see three new buildings at the business's 299 Homer St., Olean facility. The project, totaling $528,500, will further secure the current 26 jobs at the company, according to the project application. The buildings will encompass 7,500 square feet, with a 30 percent green space commitment.