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BDC’s budget plan hikes director’s salary; considers relocating office downtown

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MASSENA - The Business Development Corporation of Greater Massena’s 2014 spending plan calls for increasing the salary for its director and providing funding for a possible move back into the downtown corridor.

BDC officials will be meeting with the Massena Town Board later this month to finalize the 2014 spending plan.

BDC Chairman Daniel S. Pease said the salary increase for Executive Director Thomas Sullivan reflects the workload he has been carrying for the part-time position.

“I want you guys to recognize the administrative expenses do include some raises for employees. After Tom’s four months with us, it’s obvious that the BDC has taken up a little bit more of his time than he anticipated, quite a bit more time than he anticipated, and we’re proposing a budget that does include a salary increase for him, as well as for Linda in recognition of the workload that both of them are experiencing especially with the Main Street stuff. I think the raises are well deserved,” Mr. Pease said.

Mr. Sullivan is set to earn $40,000, while administrative assistant Linda M. Williams will get $15,600. Mr. Sullivan’s salary is up $6,000, a 15 percent raise, from when he was hired in late June. His predecessor, Michael Almasian, had been hired at a salary of $51,500 with no health insurance benefits.

Mr. Pease added Mr. Sullivan’s salary is still less than that of executive directors in the past.

The organization also discussed the ongoing efforts being made toward a relocation downtown of BDC’s home base.

Operations currently take place at 85 Robinson Road in Massena, the home of the village’s Department of Public Works offices.

“I think we’ve been playing around with this for two years and the BDC has always, I guess the consensus is, we need a more centralized downtown location. Maybe 2014, if the budget is approved, is the time to do that. We budgeted in a modest amount for rent and utilities with the idea that we need to seriously, instead of just talking about it, actually move forward with the idea of getting the office downtown,” Mr. Pease said.

Rent is at $700 per month, equaling $8,400 total for the year. Utilities will cost $900 for the year, internet service is at $720, and the telephone bill is $3,000.

Mr. Pease said that he would talk with the town board this week about the possibility of moving their office downtown. The office was once housed in the Key Bank building on Main Street.

Mayor James F. Hidy was in attendance for last week’s BDC meeting and said that he has seen progress in the organization’s operation.

Revenues consist of $60,000 from the village of Massena, $75,000 from the town of Massena, and $500 in investments, for a total revenue of $135,500.

Total expenses for the BDC 2014 budget will be $135,500, $17,500 of which will come from downtown revitalization efforts.

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