A computer software developer that helps governments and businesses monitor the use of their automobiles plans to move from Deer Park to Commack, officials said Thursday.
Vehicle Tracking Solutions wants to buy a 10,600-square-foot building at 152 Veterans Hwy. The vacant space once housed a P.C. Richard & Son electronics store and a gym.
John M. Cunningham Jr., chief executive of Vehicle Tracking, said the $2.4-million project would add 25 people to a payroll of 33 by 2016. Records show that workers earn, on average, $79,568 per year.
"The extra room at the new location will allow [the company] to expand operations through the hiring of additional staff, creation of an in-house IT [information technology] server room and construction of a large garage area," Cunningham said.
Vehicle Tracking, he said, sells software and GPS equipment to track the use of vehicle fleets. This can result in fuel savings and efficient delivery of products and services and can thwart misuse.
The Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency Thursday backed Vehicle Tracking's expansion with $278,619 in tax breaks, including a $231,124 cut in property taxes over 15 years.
The company is a contractor for the county government, Suffolk County Water Authority and Babylon, Brookhaven and Huntington towns, among others.
IDA executive director Anthony Manetta said there was no conflict of interest in Suffolk giving tax breaks to a company it does business with. "We've helped other clients who also do business with the county," he said.
IDA board member Grant Hendricks, who said he is a Vehicle Tracking customer, lauded its service: "I get email alerts when my guys are speeding; it's unbelievable." Hendricks is president of Bimasco Inc., which builds roads in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and G9 Turf, a manufacturer and installer of synthetic turf sports fields.
Hendricks participated in the IDA's discussion and unanimous vote for Vehicle Tracking.
Asked by another board member about whether he should recuse himself, Hendricks said, "I'm [Cunningham's] customer, he's not mine . . . I've never met him until today."
Later, IDA attorney William Wexler told reporters there was no conflict of interest for Hendricks.
"I don't see a problem with it," the lawyer said. Hendricks "isn't receiving a financial benefit" in return for supporting the application for tax breaks. "I don't think it has the appearance of impropriety."