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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 for five projects that will bring at least 20 permanent jobs over the next three years along with temporary employment and possible 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 derive 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 Friday of up to $200,000 so Riverside Iron in Gouverneur could reopen under Eric S. Tessmer’s ownership.

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 structural steel for sale in the Northeast.

Under the loan’s terms, Mr. Tessmer agreed to create 12 full-time jobs over three years, but said the number ultimately could approach 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 most of its Richfield Springs operation and expanding to 7814 Route 68, Ogdensburg.

Blast Boss’s Mark D. Brown has owned the building for six years, and most recently leased it to a fireplace business.

Blast Boss manufactures sandblast 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,” Mr. Brown said. “I think it’s going to be a good thing for Ogdensburg. 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 the facility would employ two or three people to start, but that number will 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 a rural broadband project that will retain eight jobs, as well as create two more permanent full-time positions and 11 temporary construction and installation jobs.

The IDA made two microenterprise loans.

The agency lent $20,000 to Proline-Striping, DePeyster, for working capital and startup funding to create one full-time job.

The agency also lent $20,000 to Sharrow’s Home Repair and Renovation, Star Lake, for equipment and working capital to fund one full-time position.

The IDA agreed to schedule a public hearing on a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement along with sales and use tax exemptions for DeFelsko Corp.

The company will acquire 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 eventually will create 55 jobs.

The county agency also passed a resolution approving $10,000 for the OBPA for transportation development. The agency extended sales and use tax exemptions for St. Lawrence Gas, Massena, which is expanding its coverage area.

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