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Town of Niagara Supervisor: Town board gives "unofficial" approval to build Amazon distribution center

The supervisor says the official approval will come Tuesday
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Posted at 10:51 PM, Jul 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-13 23:17:11-04

TOWN OF NIAGARA, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Town of Niagara Supervisor said the town board unofficially approved the Amazon project at a work session on Wednesday. Once the official approval is granted, Amazon will build a 3-million square foot distribution center on 216 acres of land along Lockport Road.

"I guess unofficial is the word," Lee Wallace, the Town of Niagara Supervisor, said, "I'm fairly certain that the board will go along. We've all been in unison from the beginning. Look, we understand there are problems. We understand it's not perfect. We have to make a decision based on what's best for our entire town."

In April, residents who live near the site expressed concerns about traffic, so Amazon made changes to their original plan.

"Their traffic patterns and proposals were nothing like what they're going to do now. They're going to make over $5.5-million in changes to Packard Road and Lockport Road," Wallace said.

"They're gonna have some positives come out of it, roadways improved and that, I don't think that will hinder the project from what we heard today, from what we've heard from the airbase commanders, so I think this will be a good project for them as well," Mark Onesi, the chairman of the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency, said.

The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency appears to be on board to give Amazon $124-million in tax breaks.

The new facility will lead to more than 300 construction jobs and another thousand everyday employees for the Town of Niagara.

"I think the key part about the jobs are the benefit packages that go along with it. It's the full time wages and it's also paid medical, paid dental, retirement, those kinds of things," Wallace said.

This entire process has taken seven months. First, Amazon needed approval from the County Planning Board, then the Town of Niagara Planning Board. Next, Amazon needed approval from the Town of Niagara Zoning Board, and now, the Town Board.

"This is a once and a lifetime opportunity, not just for the Town of Niagara but for the county as well," Wallace said.

Wallace said the official approval will come Tuesday at the Town Board meeting.