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St. Lawrence County IDA approves projects that bring jobs

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CANTON — The St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency approved financial assistance Friday for five projects that will result in at least 20 permanent jobs over the next three years along with some temporary employment and the possibility of business expansions.

“We have had the most active spring in economic development proposals in my tenure,” IDA Chairman Brian W. Staples said. “Our staff is to be congratulated.”

The projects are from different parts of the county and could signal the start of more economic activity, IDA Executive Director Patrick J. Kelly said.

The IDA approved a loan of up to $200,000 so Riverside Iron in Gouverneur could reopen under the ownership of Eric S. Tessmer.

Duane Winters, who retired and closed the 21 Water St. plant two years ago, will provide $350,000 in financing to allow the facility to return to full production of miscellaneous ornamental and some structural steel for sale in the Northeast.

Under the terms of the loan, Mr. Tessmer agreed to create 12 full-time jobs over three years but said the number could be closer to 15.

Until its closure, Riverside Iron had operated in Gouverneur since 1962.

“The plan is to open in early June,” Mr. Tessmer said.

The IDA approved a loan of up to $88,000 for Blast Boss, which is moving the bulk of its Richfield Springs operation and expanding to 7814 Route 68, Ogdensburg, a building owner Mark D. Brown has had for six years, but which he previously leased to a fireplace store.

Blast Boss manufactures sandblast-type equipment that uses recycled glass. The move will allow the company to take advantage of a glass recycler that has opened in Montreal, Mr. Brown said.

“This is new and up-and-coming. I think it’s going to be a good thing for Ogdensburg,” Mr. Brown said. “We’re tailoring our business for cross-border traffic. There’s a lot of room for expansion. I want to be open by the end of the month.”

Mr. Brown said that the facility would employ two or three people to start but that numbers would grow.

He plans to purchase a semi-truck to bring in and ship out product and may expand into other trucking services in the future.

“He’s taking advantage of the border location,” Mr. Kelly said.

The IDA extended a bridge loan of $300,000 to Slic Network Solutions for its rural broadband project that will retain eight jobs along with the creation of two more permanent full-time positions as well as 11 temporary construction and installation jobs.

The IDA made two microenterprise loans.

It lent $20,000 to Proline-Striping, DePeyster, for working capital and startup funding to result in the creation of one full-time job.

It also lent $20,000 to Sharrow’s Home Repair and Renovation, Star Lake, for equipment and working capital to result in the creation of one full-time position.

The IDA agreed to schedule a public hearing on a payment-in-lieu-of-tax agreement along with sales and use tax exemptions for DeFelsko Corp., which is acquiring a facility next to its operation at 802 Proctor Ave. in the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority’s Commerce Park. The arrangement announced last year among DeFelsko, the OBPA and A.N. Deringer, which will move to 835 Commerce Park Drive, will mean the eventual creation of 55 jobs.

The IDA also passed a resolution approving $10,000 for the OBPA for transportation development.

The IDA also extended sales and use tax exemptions for St. Lawrence Gas, Massena, which is expanding its coverage area.

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