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BDC’s budget plan hikes director’s salary; considers relocating office downtown

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MASSENA — The Business Development Corporation for a Greater Massena’s 2014 spending plan calls for increasing the director’s salary and providing funding for a possible move back to the downtown.

BDC officials will meet with the Town Council by the end of the month to finalize the spending plan.

Agency Chairman Daniel S. Pease said the salary increase for Executive Director Thomas G. Sullivan reflects his workload in the part-time position.

“I want you guys to recognize the administrative expenses do include some raises for employees. After Tom’s four months with us, it’s obvious that the BDC has taken up a little bit more of his time than he anticipated, quite a bit more time than he anticipated, and we’re proposing a budget that does include a salary increase for him, as well as for Linda in recognition of the workload that both of them are experiencing, especially with the Main Street stuff. I think the raises are well-deserved,” Mr. Pease said.

Mr. Sullivan is set to earn $40,000, while administrative assistant Linda M. Williams will be paid $15,600. Mr. Sullivan’s salary is up $6,000, a 15 percent increase, from when he was hired in late June. His predecessor, Michael V. Almasian, had been hired at a salary of $51,500 with no health insurance benefits.

Mr. Pease said Mr. Sullivan’s salary is still less than that of executive directors in the past.

The organization also discussed efforts being made toward a relocation downtown of BDC’s home base.

Operations now are at 85 Robinson Road, the home of the village Department of Public Works offices.

“I think we’ve been playing around with this for two years and the BDC has always, I guess the consensus is, we need a more centralized downtown location. Maybe 2014, if the budget is approved, is the time to do that. We budgeted in a modest amount for rent and utilities with the idea that we need to seriously, instead of just talking about it, actually move forward with the idea of getting the office downtown,” Mr. Pease said.

Rent is $700 per month, equaling $8,400 total for the year. Utilities will cost $900 for the year, Internet service comes in at $720 and the telephone bill is $3,000.

Mr. Pease said that he would talk with the town board this week about the possibility of moving the office downtown.

The office once was housed in the Key Bank building on Main Street.

Mayor James F. Hidy attended last week’s BDC meeting and said he has seen progress in the organization’s operation.

Revenues consist of $60,000 from the village, $75,000 from the town and $500 in investments, for a total revenue of $135,500.

Total expenses for the BDC’s 2014 budget will be $135,500, of which $17,500 will come from downtown revitalization efforts.

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