Gouverneur steel maker, Oswegatchie solar farm granted IDA tax breaks

Mar. 28—CANTON — The St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency granted tax breaks to an Oswegatchie solar project and a Gouverneur steel manufacturer.

The IDA board ratified the incentives to Cives Steel and PIVOT Solar during its monthly meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Cives Steel was granted a $54,000 exemption from local and sales taxes on a $666,157 equipment purchase. The Gouverneur steel manufacturer is buying and installing a Peddinghaus 40-foot AFPS 863 Anglemaster-HD fabricator, including a hydraulic tank heater, 270 series tooling and Raptor Light Software.

"SLCIDA hereby finds that, based on the Company's application, to the extent occupants are relocating from one plant or facility to another, the Project is reasonably necessary to discourage the Project occupants from removing such other plant or facility to a location outside the State and/or is reasonably necessary to preserve the competitive position of the Project occupants in their respective industries," the IDA resolution reads, adding that the agency determined the installation "will not result in any significant adverse environmental impacts."

The installation will contribute to 135 "jobs retained," according to the resolution.

IDA CEO Patrick J. Kelly said that means the duties of 135 positions at the manufacturing facility will be tied to the new equipment.

"This means this project is supporting 135 existing jobs," Kelly said, adding that the tax break assists Cives in "upgrading, modernizing their capabilities on hand, which supports the ongoing activities of the 135 employees."

Cives started in the early 1950s as a small steel manufacturer near Gouverneur and has grown to a national corporation with other locations in Maine, Virginia, Missouri, Indiana, Idaho and Arizona.

The IDA board also granted a sales and use tax exemption to PIVOT Solar, which is building a solar farm at 5986 County Route 6 in the town of Oswegatchie.

The board granted the company's request to have a $55,000 exemption shifted from a break on mortgage recording tax to an exemption on sales and use taxes.

The company is spending $9,907,365 to build a 5-megawatt installation occupying 33 acres of an 85-acre parcel. It will include building "a ground-mounted photovoltaic solar energy system including panels, racking, inverters, electrical cables, grid interconnection, site preparation, access roads and any other required improvements," the IDA resolution reads.

The IDA board had previously granted PIVOT Solar a 15-year payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) abatement on town and school taxes that expires in 2039.

The deal calls for PIVOT to pay $25,000 to be split among the town and Ogdensburg City School District, starting in 2025 and increasing 2% annually to a maximum of $32,987 in 2039. After that, the company will make regular annual town and school tax payments.

The tax incentive, according to the IDA resolution, "will promote and maintain the job opportunities, health, general prosperity and economic welfare of the citizens of St. Lawrence County ... and the State of New York and improve their standard of living."