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Amsterdam business eyes site for redevelopment

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
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The Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency is considering economic development incentives to help Mohawk Fabric Co. purchase and renovate this building on state Route 5S for use as a storage facility.
The Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency is considering economic development incentives to help Mohawk Fabric Co. purchase and renovate this building on state Route 5S for use as a storage facility.

An Amsterdam business owner still waiting for financial assistance promised a year ago for a previous project is now considering a new project that would bring a vacant building back to use on the city’s South Side.

The Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency is holding a public hearing Thursday to consider assistance, including a payment in lieu of taxes arrangement, for Mohawk Properties, a sister company of Mohawk Fabric.

IDA Director Jody Zakrevsky said the business is eyeing the purchase of the former bowling alley at 1451 state Route 5S as part of a $300,000 project.

“It’s been vacant for a while,” Zakrevsky said.

Mohawk Properties is looking to use the facility as a cold storage site for Mohawk Fabric, according to a notice published by the city’s IDA.

Mohawk Fabric completed a 14,000-square-foot expansion project at its facility at 96 Guy Park Ave. in 2011 and now employs 14 people.

Mohawk Fabric CEO Dominic Wade could not be reached for comment for this story.

The textile manufacturer, which makes gaskets for the automotive and aerospace industries, has been waiting for nearly $50,000 in grant funding that was promised and secured to purchase equipment for the expansion, Wade said in September.

The city’s Urban Renewal Agency, according to minutes from an August meeting, can’t release funding even though it’s already been approved due to the city not having had a recent audit. The city of Amsterdam is supposed to audit its books and provide details to the state, and the lack of the audit for the city’s finances dating from the end of June 2012 precludes the release of the money.

AURA, according to the minutes, initiated its own audit to attempt to unfreeze funds.

A spokesman said the state Comptroller’s Office doesn’t track spending on the part of the city and said federal agencies would be responsible for “freezing” accounts for lack of audits.

AURA director Nick Zabawski could not be reached for comment Monday.

Zakrevsky said the delay in funding from the city of Amsterdam is not expected to affect incentives being sought through the IDA.

Mayor Ann Thane on Monday said it’s her understanding the city’s deputy controller is finalizing the audit.

During its meeting Thursday, the IDA will consider a variety of incentives for Mohawk Properties, including exemptions from sales tax, mortgage recording and other real estate taxes.

The property being considered on the South Side consists of 4.1 acres of land and a one-story, 12,636-square-foot building valued at $246,479, according to county property records.

The IDA will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday in City Hall, 61 Church St. A public hearing on the Mohawk Properties project is slated for 6:15 p.m.

 
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