WhisperMow, now being made mainly in Canastota, N.Y., will open this year at 45 Edwards St. (formerly the Mentor Lumber Co.) for assemblage and multistate shipping at the site along railroad tracks and close to Interstate 90.
Plans were put together by Bruce Nielsen, a North Perry Village resident who is a vice president and engineer with the New York state firm, and village Administrator Matthew R. Zapp.
"We're actually in the building (rented from a private owner) and waiting for materials to arrive as we speak," Nielsen said Friday. "We'll bring in the parts of the mower. Certainly jobs will be added, not just in assembly but almost certainly salaried employees, but we can't say how many yet.
"In a number of weeks, we will have a tractor put together in this company owned by myself and 10 other people. Depending on what batteries are loaded into it, there will be two versions, a slower $5,495 and larger at $5,955. As for not using gas, the days of cheap gas are closely coming to an end."
The new tractor is a spinoff, largely put together by Nielsen from old General Electric Co. machines called "ElecTrak" tractors in the 1960s and 1970s.
About how quiet it is, with as much noise as an electric drill, WhisperMow's Web site states: "With its all-electric driveline and cutting deck, the WhisperMow lawn tractor is second to none when it comes to idle and operating noise. See what it's like to mow in near silence and with zero emissions."
The company says its product is a greener way to cut grass because it uses no oil, gas, spark plugs or other nonrenewable sources of energy and "should have a useful life of five to six years before replacement batteries will be necessary."
Zapp and Nielsen went all over the village to find a site.
"We're very enthusiastic about the arrival of WhisperMow. We're extremely elated with a company of their name to be here in the economic times we have," Zapp said.
Mayor Robert F. Lee and Village Council President John R. Hamercheck watched closely but left most of the planning work up to Zapp.
"We're always happy when a new business relocates to the village, and a number of them have shown up downtown," the mayor said, referring partly to Main Street restaurants.
"That was great. But this is first on Edwards Street, which we're already paving as an improvement, and maybe WhisperMow will be the starting point for more."
"We're filling a building that has stood vacant a long time. The time is right, because we're trying to revitalize the whole Edwards Street industrial area," the council president said.
Nielsen and his business partners also share experience in golf carts, electric forklifts and battery operation.
In their Madison site, they will be bringing in materials and equipment from not only New York, but also several other states and even overseas.
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