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Paper tissue and towel company hopes to expand its Eagle Bridge, N.Y. facility

EAGLE BRIDGE, N.Y. (From news reports) -- A paper tissue and towel business is looking to expand its facility in Eagle Bridge and, with it, add new specialized jobs in Washington County.

Company officials hope to do this with help from the Warren-Washington Industrial Development Agency.

Morcon Inc., which also has a facility in South Carolina, has filed an application with the Warren-Washington Industrial Development Agency seeking tax abatements.

The business is looking for $743,750 in sales tax exemptions and $118,750 in mortgage tax exemptions.

If the $14.6 million project moves ahead, the paper facility would build a 55,000-square-foot addition to its 20,000-square-foot complex.

The expansion entails 40,000 square feet for warehousing, while the other 15,000 square feet would expand manufacturing, bringing the company's paper conversion in-house.

According to the application filed with the IDA, sales of the company's interfolded napkins have tripled. The expansion will accommodate this rapid growth as well as allow the business to produce 100% of the product in Washington County.

Currently, materials that are procured at the local facility come from other manufacturing companies.

Construction of the facilities and infrastructure work will cost approximately $9.5 million. The rest will be spent on equipment, furniture and a new sprinkler system.

Vice President of Operations Christopher Raccuia, son of the owner of the company, said this would solidify their Eagle Bridge location as their main headquarters.

Located at 62 Owl Kill Road, the current facility employs 60 to 65 people, he said.

"With automation, we can hire for positions that actually utilize people's brains," Raccuia said.

New automated systems are now being used for the more menial tasks, according to Raccuia.

Some of these more specialized positions would entail keeping assets clean, machine operators and managerial responsibilities, he said.

The expansion is expected to create between eight and 10 new jobs.

Considering the company's 300% growth increase for the last few years, Morcon can expect to keep expanding and potentially create more jobs in the coming years, according to Raccuia.

If the IDA approves Morcon's application, the proposed project would not only add jobs but secure existing jobs for the foreseeable future.

According to Morcon's application, job salaries to either be created or retained through this proposed expansion range from $150,000 a year (management) to $65,000 a year (production management).

As per its standard procedure, the IDA will hold a public hearing on the proposed project, scheduled for Aug. 11.

Raccuia said he feels confident that the project will be approved.

"We've had a good relationship with (David) O'Brien and the rest of the IDA," he said, referring to the IDA board chairman. "There's a lot of trust."

The business grew by $25 million in its first year when former Finch Paper CEO Joe Raccuia purchased the company in 2013.

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