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Niagara County IDA expects projects to help economy

The Niagara County IDA is looking to add more jobs to the area and help boost the economy with some new projects and a tourist attraction. YNN’s Antoinette DelBel has more on the local projects and boat tour that’s meant to give visitors an up-close view of the Falls.

NIAGARA COUNTY, N.Y. — The tourism season is in full swing in the City of Niagara Falls, and a new boat tour company is looking to bring more tourists to the area, provided it gets a little help financially.

“They’re going to experience a closeness to nature like they’ve never experienced before,” said Michael Fox with Niagara Jet Adventures. “There will be some thrills all within safe parameters, but it will be very close up.”

Niagara Jet Adventures gives tourists a different view of the Falls by driving a jet boat directly into the rapids on the lower part of the Niagara River.

Wednesday, the tourist attraction requested a five-year PILOT and tax exemptions from the Niagara County IDA to build at least three boats for an August opening.

“For us, it’s all about creating jobs – sustaining jobs that are here and creating new jobs. That’s what it’s all about here,” said Mayor Michael Tucker, R-Lockport and NCIDA chairman.

Over on Third Street in Niagara Falls, motel owner Ozzie Elahi is looking to boost business by turning an abandoned two-story building into an 11-room motel. He also requested a 10-year PILOT and tax exemptions.

“A lot of people, when they don’t find a room, they go across the border to Canada,” said Elahi. “And if there are rooms available on our side, they’re definitely going to spend money on the American side.”

A public hearing on Elahi’s request will be held July 17.

Meanwhile, an expansion project was approved by the IDA. KI PO Automotive in Ransomville will receive a five-year PILOT to expand the business – a project that’s estimated at $1.5 million.

After last month’s request for tax incentives for 10 years was rejected by the IDA, KI PO faced the possibility of closing and losing all of its employees. However, Tucker said the board wasn’t ready to give up on the car company.

“General Motors is really forcing this on them to keep them viable, to keep them in business,” he said. “There will be some new job creation with this expansion, but there are 44 jobs there that are important to the Ransomville area.”

by Antoinette DelBel

Source: Time Warner Cable News