Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Diversified Manufacturing Inc. president and CEO Brian Costello gave a lot of thanks Thursday, as local and state leaders gathered to celebrate the completion of the Ohio Street metal fabrication facility’s expansion.
The $5 million expansion consisted of a 45,000-square-foot addition and equipment upgrades, keeping 150 people employed at the now 120,000-square-foot, city-based manufacturer. Operations of a DMI sister company, IPAC Inc., were brought to Lockport from Amherst.
A major supporter of the expansion was the New York Power Authority, which kicked in $450,000 funding through the Western New York Power Proceeds Program. Given the nature and size of the expansion, it certainly would not have been possible without the assistance of the program, Costello said.
”There were opportunities to go elsewhere, but it’s efficient to have everything under one roof,” Costello said. “It was too expensive running the other facility.”
At Thursday’s gathering, Costello thanked NYPA as well as the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency, Greater Lockport Development Corp., Empire State Development Corp. and M&T Bank for their help.
Assistance seemed to come from a variety of places. NYSE&G and Rochester Gas and Electric provided an $88,000 economic development grant for electric infrastructure improvements. The county IDA granted Diversified a 15-year tax abatement on the addition. Empower Niagara, the county agency that shares with businesses a portion of Niagara’s low-cost power allocation from the Niagara Power Project, approved a three-year, 200-kilowatt allocation for Diversified.
Diversified merged with IPAC, which Costello also owned and which produced similar products. The Amherst site was sold and over 40 jobs were moved here.
“I can’t think of anything more important to the City of Lockport than job retention,” Mayor Anne E. McCaffrey said. “Nothing is more important to me than business development and keeping jobs in Lockport.”