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Residents voice environmental concerns with proposed distribution center in Clay

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO Public Media
A public hearing on the tax breaks that would be given to the developer of the project.

The developer of a proposed 3.8 million square foot distribution facility in the Town of Clay, is now seeking $70 million in tax breaks from the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency, after the cost of the project increased. At a public hearing Tuesday, local residents voiced concerns with the project, many pertaining to the environment. 

Among some of the issues, were the noise and fumes coming from trucks that would enter in and out of the facility at 10-20 trucks per hour. Also of concern, was water drainage coming from an impervious surface parking lot, which would be paved over an existing golf course. Darlyn Frass lives on a property next to the proposed development.

“We often have flooding in the basement,” Frass said. “So, I’m concerned financially, regarding what the value of our home will be, once the traffic on Morgan Road is increased considerably; concerned with getting in and out of the driveway.”

The proposed distribution facility is promising 1,000 new jobs. The developer does not have a tenant yet, but expects it would be used by a logistics, big-box or e-commerce user, like Amazon. Barry Gordon of Lysander wants to know why that’s being kept a secret.

“If it is that organization, we’re going to be giving a nice gift to the world’s richest man, when we have all sorts of needs in terms of roads, schools,” Gordon said.

A vote on the tax breaks is scheduled for next week. 

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.