Public hearing Thursday for proposed Amazon site in Schodack

Public hearing Thursday for proposed Amazon site in Schodack

SCHODACK (WRGB) - The Rensselaer County Industrial Development Agency will host a public hearing Thursday for the proposed Amazon distribution center on Route 9 in Schodack.

The town planning board approved the proposal last week. Plans show a 1-million square foot complex with several loading docks and a large parking lot. The new facility is expected to create more than 800 jobs.

The hearing was at 10:00am at the Schodack Town Hall. Turnout was small, but a handful of people spoke and shared their thoughts.

The county zone coordinator briefly outlined the proposed tax breaks. The developer is seeking $13.7 million in state and local tax breaks on the $100-million Amazon Distribution Center.

“Including potential exemptions from certain sales and use taxes, real property taxes, real estate transfer taxes, and mortgage recording taxes.” Jay Sherman, the Empire Zone Coordinator said.

A few people expressed their opposition to the proposed tax breaks. Two community members said:

“Why are they getting a $13-million tax relief? That's not gonna help schodack at this point?”

“I think Amazon is the richest company in the world with one the richest men in the world owning it, and he can pay 150% of the tax burden. At the very least he shouldn't be given a 50% tax break on this property.”

Community members also shared their thoughts – both for and against – various other factors.

Those for it say they support bringing business and hundreds of jobs to the area.

Those against it say they’re concerned the jobs may be seasonal jobs or may be given to already-trained Amazon employees, and not local residents. Others say they’re concerned the $27,000 outlined salary won’t be enough for people to live in Rensselaer County. One resident questioned if we would need to build low income housing.

Those who oppose it say they’re also concerned about traffic issues on Route 9.

The IDA will now listen to these opinions as they move forward with their consideration. The next meeting is planned for July 19th. No word yet if the Amazon site is on the agenda.

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