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Pride Pak pushing to have new Medina site ready in spring

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 September 2015 at 12:00 am

MEDINA – It may be a vacant field now, but come spring, there will be a 64,000-square-foot vegetable processing facility along Maple Ridge Road in Medina.

That’s the goal by Pride Pak, a Canadian company that is building a complex in Medina for vegetable processing, packaging and distribution.

The company has an aggressive construction schedule in order to have the site in operation by next spring, said Marty Busch, the village code enforcement officer. The company will seek approval for its site plan for the project during the Village Planning Board meeting on Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 600 Main St.

The Orleans Economic Development Agency also is crafting a 20-year tax savings plan for the company. Pride Pak would pay 0 percent of the property taxes the first year, and then 5 percent would be added until Pride Pak is paying the full 100 percent after 20 years.

There will be a public hearing at 9 a.m. on Oct. 6 at City Hall about the tax savings plan or a Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT). The land for Pride Pak is currently owned by the EDA and doesn’t generate local property taxes.

Pride Pak was looking at the former Worthington Cylinders (Bernz-O-Matic) site, but decided instead to build new in Medina. Busch said the 64,000-square-foot building is just phase one. Pride Pak could expand the complex in three additional phases, Busch advised the Village Board on Monday.

The new building, plus equipment, represents an $11 million investment in Medina, Orleans EDA officials said.

In addition to the property tax discounts, the Town of Shelby is seeking a $734,000 grant through the state Office of Community Renewal to assist Pride Pak with the project. Pride Pak also has been been approved for a sales tax exemption for equipment and building materials, an estimated savings of $280,000.

The company would have 40 employees in its first year, another 40 the second year and would reach about 200 at full capacity, said Gabrielle Barone, EDA vice president for business development.

Besides adding jobs to the community, Pride Pak would benefit the local economy by buying some local produce, and packaging it to be distributed to grocery stores. The company wants to expand its operations from Canada and better serve a large northeastern US grocery chain, EDA officials said.

Jim Whipple, EDA chief executive officer, also asked the Medina Village Board on Monday to help pay for new water and sewer infrastructure for the Medina Business Park. Whipple said it will cost more than $100,000 to have infrastructure in place to serve Pride Pak and other future businesses in the park.

Whipple asked Medina to contribute $50,000 towards the effort. The board said it will consider the request.