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April 2014 Column - Cooperation leads to business expansion


OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS

Legislator Ted Morton (R-Cheektowaga) announces that the Erie County Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department will hold two focus group sessions to gather public opinion on Como Lake Park as the department works to update the Parks Master Plan.

Legislator Ted Morton (R-Cheektowaga) announces that a measure has been passed unanimously by the County Legislature urging New York State to enact new policies to encourage living organ donation. With the rates of living donors dropping, several policies including donor reimbursement, tax deductions for lost wages, and long term follow up medical care for donors has been recommended to help rebuild the donor base in New York State.

Erie County Legislator Ted Morton (R-Cheektowaga), with the support of community partners, announces his 3rd  annual Food Drive to benefit the Alden-Marilla Community Food Pantry and Tri-Community Food Pantry. Non-perishable goods will be collected from Monday, Nov. 21 through Monday, Dec. 12.

It’s that time of the year again when the Legislature reviews the County Executive’s budget proposal. The Legislature recently concluded its budget hearings with every county department and elected office where we reviewed spending requests.

At the Erie County Legislature’s annual budget hearings, Legislator Ted Morton (R-Cheektowaga) called on the Erie County Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department to submit a budget request to fund dredging of Como Lake as part of next year’s Capital Projects Budget.

Business ribbon cuttings are a grand celebration, commemorating the hard work it took to get to this point. Some business projects faced more hurdles than others, but when these challenges are overcome, and the new business is up and running, there is good reason to celebrate. 

 

Recently the Town of Lancaster welcomed the new business Nutrablend which expanded from Canada. Working in partnership with the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, Nutrablend searched for a suitable location, finding what it needed in Lancaster. Throughout the process Nutrablend has never accepted or requested a single taxpayer dollar, making this a great example of economic development.

 

Our region is often criticized for lack of growth so when a company moves into one of our towns or cities, it is exciting. While New York is still dealing with the issues that hinder business development, there are still steps we can take to support business, especially on the local level.

 

Some important steps were taken to help Nutrablend establish its business in Lancaster and facilitate its plans to expand. Facing some issues that were hindering its expansion, Nutrablend met with the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, requesting assistance in finding solutions. Lancaster Chamber President John Chmarney reached to out to me to see how I could help.

 

A lack of qualified labor was one of the issues stopping the company from expanding. I placed a call to ECC President Jack Quinn to discuss Nutrablend’s needs and the college is currently working with the company to place qualified graduates and arrange internships. Outstanding local schools and colleges are some of our greatest assets and by simply partnering together, ECC will be able to help Nutrablend meet its demand.

 

Additionally, a lack of public transportation was also prohibiting the company from growing. I worked to connect Nutrablend with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, which has worked with companies in the past to establish stops at businesses in exchange for financial compensation from the business, to begin the process of establishing a new bus stop at the company. Although a work in progress, I’m optimistic that the NFTA will be able to alleviate Nutrablend’s transportation concerns.     

 

Nutrablend has been a success story in Lancaster as the company continues to grow and add jobs to our community. In fact they’ve been so successful that the company’s General Manager Fred Doxbeck was recently asked to be the guest speaker at the Lancaster Area Chamber of Commerce’s Luncheon held on April 2. I look forward to continuing to work with the Chamber and other stakeholders in our community to help our area grow and flourish.

 

By coordinating with private businesses, local government offices and public agencies can support economic development in a variety of ways that comes at no additional cost to the taxpayer. These partnerships have proven extremely valuable to our community.  

 

As a reminder, if you ever have any questions or wish to discuss the above issues with me, please call 858-8856 or email ted.morton@erie.gov