Town of Clay publishes answers to questions surrounding proposed warehouse

Local News

CLAY, N.Y (WSYR-TV) – Onondaga County and the developer behind a proposed distribution center off Morgan Road released a document summarizing public comments and concerns about their project at the Liverpool Country Club Tuesday.

The 26-page “public comment summary” posted on the Town of Clay website answers questions made during a public hearing at Liverpool High School on September 30.

The document breaks down the questions into ten categories with 85 questions total:

  • Overall Project (Pages 1-2)
  • Noise (Pages 2-3)
  • Environmental (Pages 3-7)
  • Tenant (Pages 7-8)
  • Traffic (Pages 8-12)
  • Facility (Page 13)
  • Taxes (Pages 13-14)
  • Jobs (Pages 14-16)
  • Roads (Pages 16)
  • Miscellaneous (Pages 17-19)

The final eight pages also address resident comments made about the Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) and an August 2019 Traffic Impact Study, that was performed by GTS Consulting and released on September 25.

Of the eighty-five questions summarized in the document, 70 received direct responses or referred the inquisitor to prior information released by the developer, Trammell Crow.

The company has stated the proposed 3.7 million-square-foot facility would cost them $280-million-dollars and bring approximately 1,000 new jobs to the area. The future tenant has not been revealed.

According to Onondaga County, Trammell Crow is requesting approximately $20,000,000 in sales tax, $1,687,500 in mortgage recording tax and $49,084,564 in property tax exemptions.

Question & Response Example

Public Comment (Darlene Sorendo): Jobs that Pay $30,000 per year will not help the community.

Reponse: It is anticipated that the project will offer a significatn number of par-time and full-time employment opportunities for community residents that include a comprehensive benefits package for people with no prior work experience seeking an entry level job, and often for those who do not have any particulate skill set, or for others seeking a second stream of income. The project will allow those new to the work force to learn new skill and will provide on-the-job experience that is transferable to advancement positions or other industries. The project will also enable employees to obtain valuable networking and reference resources for future advancement and other opportunities.

Page 15 – Responsiveness Summary to Public Comments

Shortly after the document was released Tuesday, several neighbors at an additional Town of Clay public hearing once again expressed their concerns about the project. Most were unaware that the document had been posted.

Common concerns included the issuance of tax breaks, the transparency of the project and the pace at which the project has been “pushed through.”

“My concerns are with many of the folks who have spoken here today. This process seems to have been pushed through very quickly with what seems to be limited transparency; when in fact many of the decisions seem to have been made long before the public was made aware of this,” said Clay resident Vince Messina.

At the meeting, representatives from the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency or OCIDA denied any “secret decision” made about the project.

“We need to know more. Have they absolutely said there were 1,000 jobs? You’ve got to get some things in writing. We don’t even know who the owner of the warehouse will be. We have to know a few things before our town gives a huge tax break to a developer,” said Pat Sentoff.

A decision to grant tax breaks for the project could come as soon as October 31.

The Town of Clay Supervisor told NewsChannel 9 Monday that a final decision about the warehouse proposal could come in the next two to three weeks and as early as November 6.

Neighbors with additional concerns about the project are encouraged to mail or file a grievance with the Town of Clay here.

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