CHURCHHILL, Pa. (KDKA) – A group of people protested at a special meeting against the possibility of building an Amazon distribution center in the Churchill borough.
The Churchill Borough Planning Commission was due to make its final recommendation to the Borough Council at a meeting Wednesday evening.
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Many locals who spoke at the meeting and people who protested ahead of the meeting want to keep Amazon out of Churchill.
“I think Jeff Bezos should take his operation to the Moon or Mars with him, really. We don’t want companies like Amazon. Amazon has only destroyed small businesses everywhere they go, ”said Mike Stout, president of the Allegheny County chapter of the Izaak Walton League.
The Churchill Borough Planning Commission held a virtual meeting to make its recommendation on the pending applications to transform the former Westinghouse site into an Amazon distribution center. The pending applications relate to conditional use and approval of land use planning.
“We are really excited about this opportunity at Churchill to become their potential tenant,” said Brad Griggs, senior director of Amazon Economic Development.
Griggs said the site will become a robotic distribution center with the highest volume of products.
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“This is our most premium facility and robotics, the most advanced building systems and the most advanced in climate promise on what we’re trying to do,” said Griggs.
Many residents have expressed concern about air quality, noise, tractor-trailer traffic and tree felling.
“There is no good reason, in my opinion, for Amazon to destroy our land, our community, our health, our security, our well-being for jobs that won’t really help people,” said Sandy Fox, a resident of the Borough of Churchill. .
The concerns of several residents were addressed by those involved in the development plans on Wednesday evening, but it is still unclear whether Amazon is coming to the borough.
“We recognize this would be a significant change for the borough, but we are excited to bring 1,000 to 1,500 new jobs and tax revenue,” Lafe Metz, attorney for Hillwood Development.
The group of demonstrators wants the public hearing of the borough council on July 19 to be in person and not virtual. The public hearing will take place on July 19 at 6 p.m. and the hearing is expected to last several days.