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Schodack community weighs-in on proposed Amazon distribution center

July 12, 2018 12:53 PM

SCHODACK - A public hearing was held Thursday morning at Schodack Town Hall. It was a chance for the community to speak out about the proposed Amazon distribution center receiving some tax exemptions.

A number of people at the hearing said they were upset about the time of the meeting being at 10 a.m. on a weekday morning instead of the evening and how they had little notice about it.

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One person commented Amazon is just playing catch up with its competition like Walmart and Target. Others said there is no competition for Amazon at all and they are certainly welcome.

The developer is seeking nearly $14 million in state and local tax breaks.

For those few gathered, some needed questions answered about bringing Amazon and its $100 million distribution center to Route 9 at all.

"With the amount of additional traffic that's going to be occurring as a result of this project, what will be the impact both on the local ambulance service and on the mutual aid system," said Carolyn Stetson, a Schodack resident.

"The question is why are we offering them any tax breaks," said Sean Collins, the vice president of the Troy Area Labor Council. "They need us, the land available in Rensselaer County, more than we need them."

Others say it's about time. That includes Tony DeFrancisco, owner of a collision repair shop that's right across the street. He's been there for 22 years.

"I started my business in 1996 and in that time, there was hope and promise that this would be a developed area of commercial property to bring businesses in to help this town prosper. We need prosper here in Schodack," said DeFrancisco.

There are plenty of numbers to consider, but the Rensselaer County IDA is looking to fill a 116-acre site with Amazon's lease for 15 years.

"I've got to say, at least for here, I kind of welcome it. I'd love to have a place where my son could basically go around the corner and work," said Bill Walsh with Capital District Building Trades.

The cost of gas keeps going up and these folks that will work here won't be able to live here right away. There's not a lot of available housing and a lot of them are highly priced, so they'll have to commute," said Lynn MacGowan, who is against the plan.

The next IDA meeting is July 19, 4 p.m. at the 3rd floor of the Quackenbush Building in Troy.

Credits

John Craig & WNYT Staff

Copyright 2018 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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