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Amazon On Schodack Planning Board Agenda

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A proposed 1 million-square foot Amazon distribution center is on the agenda for the Schodack Planning Board meeting tonight. 

It was revealed during a town planning board meeting in June that Amazon would be the tenant of a warehouse and distribution center that would be built on a 116-acre lot, between I-90 and Route 9 in the Town of Schodack, in Rensselaer County.

Nadine Fuda, the town's Director of Planning and Zoning, says some residents have been critical of the facility's size and others have concerns about traffic.    "Residents have been checking in. It is a split group out there, you know, there's always the people that are against the project and then there's people that are for the project. I'd have to say in my correspondence that people have sent in, it's about 50-50; I'd have to say the people for it might be even a little more than the people against it."

The Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce responded to a request for comment by email, saying in part:  "The 1-million-square-foot fulfillment center is poised to have a positive economic impact by creating 800 job opportunities, including benefits – many of those being filled by hiring locally. In addition, the construction industry will benefit through the hundreds of jobs that will be generated during the building phase. The Chamber looks forward to working with one of the world’s largest and most recognized companies to create a continued vibrant economy in Rensselaer County.”

Amazon representatives have said the warehouse would have ample parking and an abundance of loading docks to ship and receive goods.

Public comment will be taken during the meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Again, Nadine Fuda:  "This is a normal planning process that we always go through with any project. This just happens to be a much larger project, but every project gets the same amount of detail. We look at everything.  Our engineer has given the members his report to date, and is telling them how he feels and that they should be able to come to a vote tonight."

Amazon operates dozens of warehouses nationwide. Schodack is also home to a Hannaford supermarket distribution center.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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