Press-Republican

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January 20, 2013

Hacker Boat move criticized

ELIZABETHTOWN — Essex County lawmakers are unhappy that Hacker Boat Co. is using state money to move out of the county.

The Capital Region Regional Economic Development Council got Hacker a $600,000 state grant so it can expand its operations by moving to Queensbury in Warren County.

That means closing Hacker-Craft plants on Delano Road and Montcalm Street in Ticonderoga, a loss of 38 jobs locally.

“To pirate a company out of one county into another county, I just think is wrong,” Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava (R-Moriah) said. “If you have an existing company that’s located in one county, and then to take state funds and move them 50 miles down the road into another county, it shouldn’t be happening.”

‘NEEDS LARGER FACILITY’

No one at the Capital Region Regional Economic Development Council offices in Troy responded to a request for comment Friday.

That council applied for the funds, which were awarded in December.

Hacker spokesman Kenneth J. Rawley said they’d move to Queensbury with or without state funding, because Hacker needs a larger facility to build bigger boats. In addition, the boatbuilder needs to be closer to Albany International Airport, he said, because many customers fly in there and travel to Hacker to order one of the custom mahogany speedboats the firm builds.

Essex County Industrial Development Agency Co-Director Carol Calabrese said they previously brought in resources to help Hacker stay in Ticonderoga and get municipal water service extended to the Delano Road plant so the firm could retain and expand that facility.

“We had worked diligently with them. We had no idea that this was coming.”

‘SPACE AVAILABLE’

Even after the grant was announced they tried to talk with Hacker, Calabrese said.

“We have continued to reach out to them, just because we believe it’s the right thing to do, in case there’s any opportunity whatsoever that we can retain any of their operations in Essex County. We are aware that they’ve received our messages.

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