SYRACUSE, NY (NCC News) – Although the Town of Clay is the home of over 60,000 residents, word tends to spread quickly. When that word involves a new building being built, questions will rise and concerns will build.
Earlier this month, it was announced that a Dallas based company, Trammel Crow Inc. proposed the creation of a distribution center which would open up 1,000 jobs. This has created concerns for a community who will have to deal with more cars, more trucks and more hassle.
Although a tenant for the building has not been named, it is under extreme speculation that the company would be an e-commerce company. That company most likely being Amazon.
At the Clay Town Hall on Friday, the Onondaga Industrial Development group held a public meeting to open up the floor to citizens.
The room was silent when asked if anyone was for the movement. When asked for opposing opinions, the room lit up.
Every raised hand in the room brought up different points of concern. Some of these arguments included water usage, traffic build-up and taxpayer dollars. Questions were also raised whether a company like Amazon would be around for much longer, which may leave another abandoned building.
The main concern though, was what company would be undertaking the distribution center and what effects that would have on the community. DeWitt resident, David Thomas expressed his displeasure with the company name being kept under the radar.
“Somebody dropping the name Amazon and leaving it to the rumor mill to make it real is kind of disingenuous,” said Thomas. “If you actually have something, say what you got…don’t pretend like you know about the jobs but you can’t talk about who the client is.”
On the other hand, Clay Town Supervisor, Damian Ulatowski, said that it’s not up to the town to know or explain what the company is at this juncture.
“It’s not unusual that we don’t know who the end user is at this point,” said Ulatowski. “We are only being asked for a zone change to make sure that what they’re asking for would fit in the zone that they’re requesting.”
The zone change that needs approval will be located on Morgan Road, where the Liverpool Public Golf and Country Club currently is. Trammel Crow has agreed to pay $6 million for the three and a half million square-feet of land, which is over five-times the amount that Clay has calculated.
Although Ulatowski and other members of the town board are yet to have an opinion, Ulatowski believes it’s something the community should not turn its back to and be open to the change.
“I think it’s a good idea and worth listening to,” the Town Supervisor added. “This could be the catalyst for Onondaga County and Central New York in helping to spur the economy that we’ve been hearing is lacking and deficient for two or three decades now.”
Residents may have walked away from this meeting displeased, but it’s a meeting that Ulatowski says wasn’t meant to answer questions and he encourages people come to the next meeting which will open up many more doors to the public and their understanding.
“We will get a feel for the pulse of the community. That all helps us as a board, make a decision one way or the other that affects the residents of the Town of Clay and impacts the greater community.”
The next meeting will be held by the Town of Clay on Monday, Sept. 30 at Liverpool High School.