Sherman business rebuilding with IDA help

A Sherman business completely lost in a March fire is taking the steps to rebuild.

Jack’s Repair Shop, formerly located at 9994 Bailey Hill Road, was considered a total loss after fire spread through the business on March 9.

With the help of a $150,000 loan from the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, a new structure on the original site is almost complete.

The price to completely rebuild is $465,000, and is being funded with a combination of insurance and loan funds. The repair shop has been operating out of Heil Transportation on Caflisch Road in Clymer for the time being.

“They haven’t lost the beat,” said Carol Rasmussen, IDA project manager, at a Tuesday morning agency meeting. “They’re still servicing the area. They have support letters from Clymer and they have a need to continue their business.”

Rich Dixon, chief financial officer of the IDA, said the agency’s involvement with purchasing the former Maplevale Farms property in Clymer played a role in Jack’s Repair Shop continuing, as Heil Transportation now operates on the site.

“When we first met with owner Jeff Tornstrom and his wife Robin, they were devastated,” Dixon said. “They’re great people and we were really glad we could help them. They’ve been very successful, and they’re going about this the right way. This works out well for everyone involved.”

Robin Tornstrom said the new structure is almost complete and business is booming in the meantime.

“We were only down for about two to three weeks, but it’s been very humbling just because it’s been so difficult,” Tornstrom said, further expressing gratitude to the IDA for their assistance.

The Tornstroms are hopeful for a new opening date at the beginning of August or September, with a bigger and more efficient building.

In other news, a preliminary resolution regarding a hotel project in Dunkirk was discussed.

Kristine Morabito, project manager for the IDA, said the owners of the Comfort Inn on Vineyard Drive in Dunkirk would like to begin constructing a 70-room Fairfield Inn and Suites close by later this summer or fall.

“This is a preliminary resolution authorizing the agency to take the steps to review the project and consider a final operating resolution at a later date,” Morabito said.

The projected budget for the four-story hotel will be more than $5 million, and additional steps must be taken before the project ensues, such as a State Environmental Quality Review, or SEQR.

Lastly, it was an emotional agency meeting for Bill Daly, who will officially retire from his position as executive director of the IDA on May 31.

“Bill came in at some very difficult times, both economically and politically,” said Mike Metzger, chairman of the agency’s board of directors. “He brought us through those stormy weathers to clear seas and we’re a much better agency thanks to his leadership.”

Daly said the county would be at a loss of 1,000 jobs without the work of the agency.

“We weren’t shy with the loan fund, and here we are with way more money than we started with,” Daly said. “We’ve had tremendous times.”

Tuesday was also the first day on the job for Kevin Sanvidge, incoming executive director.

“I will be getting out into the community and making personal contacts with as many potential new businesses as I can,” Sanvidge said in an interview last week. “The border is not going to stop for me in Chautauqua County. It could be all across the U.S. and I’ll be out there selling everything Chautauqua County has to offer.”

The next Industrial Development Agency meeting will take place on June 17 at 10 a.m. at 200 Harrison St. It is open to the public.