WATERLOO — The Board of Directors of the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency has given initial approval to an application for financial aid for Wilkins Recreational Vehicles Inc.
Wilkins RV, based in Bath, wants to build a new, $12.4 million RV sales and service operation on Route 318 in Junius, using a new sewer line and existing water line and other utilities on a 40-acre parcel it would buy from Upstate NY Property Development LLC.
The construction cost is estimated at $10 million. The land acquisition cost is $1.9 million, equipment costs are $350,000 and there would be $100,000 in engineering costs. Wilkins would use $10 million in bank financing and $2.4 million of company money to finance the project.
Owner Brian Wilkins has applied for a 10-year Payment In Lieu Of Taxes agreement, an exemption from paying sales tax on purchases of supplies and equipment and an exemption from paying the mortgage recording tax.
The PILOT would save the company an estimated $161,886 over the 10 years. The sales tax exemption would save an estimated $625,000 over two years and the mortgage recording exemption would save $75,000.
The IDA has scheduled a public hearing on the application for noon Aug. 22 at the Junius Town Hall, 655 Dublin Road. The IDA will consider any comments before making a final decision on the application. A cost versus benefits analysis of the project shows $52.3 million in payroll and other benefits and $861,886 in costs of the aid package, plus hiring 36 employees.
The operation is now on a landlocked eight-acre parcel in Victor. Wilkins initially planned to locate on Route 414 in Tire across from the del Lago Resort & Casino but officials felt the Junius site a short distance away was better.
“The site in Junius offers unlimited potential. Our guess is that the sales potential is double, the employment potential is double, but the ability to service customers, and maybe more importantly, transient customers, could be triple to quadruple,” Wilkins said in a note to the IDA.
He said there has been growth in the RV industry since the COVID-19 pandemic.
In other action, the IDA board approved the hiring of David Hewitt of Baldwinsville as grants and development manager at a salary of $55,000.
Hewitt last served as district director for state Assemblyman Albert Stirpe, D-127 of North Syracuse, from April 2016 to March 2022. He earned an associate degree in criminal justice from Jefferson Community College in 2011 and received an undergraduate degree from the State University College at Cortland in 2014. He also served in the US Marines as a platoon sergeant.
“We are looking forward to having Dave join the IDA team,” said Sarah Davis, IDA executive director. “His track record of public service and passion for helping others will make him a great asset to the community.”