Alstom’s Car Shell Plant Clears Administrative Hurdles

April 14, 2021

Hornell IDA approves environmental review, endorses aid package

WLEA STAFF REPORTS

HORNELL — The City of Hornell Industrial Development Agency met on Wednesday to put the final pen-strokes to a resolution that will enable the creation of 258 new jobs at Hornell’s Alstom and help retain 300-400 more at the rail manufacturing company.

The resolution passed on Wednesday, affirmed a review declaring no environmental impact under the New York’s State Environmental Quality Review Act(SEQR) from a proposed new 135,000 square foot facility to aid in the manufacture of stainless-steel bodies of 200 rail cars for the recent $769 million contract with Chicago’s Metra.

The space will be divided among 18,000 square feet of warehouse, 12,000 square feet of office space, and a sprawling 105,000 square foot manufacturing space.

An IDA endorsed request for financial assistance will grant the company a 20-year payment in-lieu of taxes (PILOT), property tax exemption, a sales tax exemption on construction materials and a mortgage tax exemption.

According to CHIDA CEO Jim Griffin, a cost/benefit analysis weighing the tax breaks against wages and taxation showed a massive disparity favoring the benefits.

“It was 112 to 1. That’s almost unheard of, most are about 3 to 1. It is such a benefit to the community. The amount it will do for the community over the next 10 years is amazing.”

The new facility is expected to trigger millions of dollars in new payroll for local employees and many of the 258 jobs created will come in the first 1-2 years of operation and include high-skilled positions that will spark new training programs at area colleges like Alfred State.

The board lauded the synergy between Alstom, IDA and City officials.

“Without the help of the local Alstom team for the last several years [maybe this doesn’t happen], there was some stiff competition from other locations outside the state and I want to publicly thank them for their hard work,” Griffin said.

“This will be something good for Hornell for a long time to come, long after we’re gone,” said board member John Carbone.

“The ability to make those cars here in Hornell is a feather in the city’s cap. There’s not a whole lot of places I the world that can do that and it positions Alstom well for the future,” Mayor John Buckley agreed.

Company officials were not present at the meeting to offer immediate comment.