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April 2014 Column - Cooperation leads to business expansion


OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS

We’ve all experienced it. Driving down Transit Road in the heart of our community when all of a sudden the road tightens and your regular commute turns into a roller coaster as you head down and underneath the main railroad lines before climbing back out. Meanwhile, you’re hoping not to get sideswiped by a larger vehicle navigating the narrow stretch between French Road and Gould Avenue. Maybe you’ve seen one of our first responders racing to get to a call and due to the challenges of this stretch they accidently lose a side mirror on one of the bridges, an accident which has occurred all too often.


With the New York State SAFE Act punishing legal gun owners through burdensome regulations, Legislator Ted Morton (R-Cheektowaga) today voted in favor of a measure to support New York State Senator Rob Ortt’s (R-North Tonawanda) legislation to repeal the SAFE Act in areas outside of New York City.


Members of the Erie County Legislature have requested that the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority (ECFSA) Board appear at the next Finance and Management Committee meeting to discuss the new plan that would allow the ECFSA to borrow on behalf of the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) new emergency room. To account for the borrowing the County Executive has submitted a Declaration of Need, which requires Legislative approval.


In the wake of ongoing traffic and pedestrian safety issues, Legislator Ted Morton (R-Cheektowaga) announced the passage of a resolution calling on the New York State Department of Transportation to increase funding to widen Transit Road between French and Gould. The Erie County Legislature approved Legislator Morton’s resolution unanimously at the March 9, 2017 session.


Legislator Ted Morton (R-Cheektowaga) was recently invited to speak at the annual Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast, held Feb. 10, where he provided an update on a wide range of issues, including the county’s budget, the county’s relationship with the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC), the opioid epidemic and education.


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