SCHUMER URGES FEDS TO SPEED UP SITE REVIEW IN ORANGE COUNTY THAT WOULD PAVE WAY FOR $150 MILLION DISTRIBUTION CENTER AND 2,000 JOBS IN THE AREA - LOCAL OFFICIALS FEAR DELAY COULD REDUCE SITE'S COMPETITIVENESS
Orange County Competing with West Virginia to Become Home of Large Distribution Center that Would Boost the Region's Economy, Create Jobs - Time is Of the Essence if OC is to WinIn a Personal Call to Top Fed Official, Schumer Asked for Review by Fish and Wildlife to be Completed Without Delay so Orange County Can be Competitive as PossibleU.S. Fish and Wildlife Must Approve 'Site Plan' Before Anonymous Company Will Choose Orange County
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that he has personally called Daniel M. Ashe, Director of Policy for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), urging him to expedite review of the locations 'site plan' that would clear the way for a $150 million distribution center in Orange County that has the potential to create up to 2,000 jobs. A site plan, which details the layout of buildings, overall architecture of the project and the impact that the project may have on the environment, has been submitted but is still awaiting approval from USFWS. Right now, Orange County is competing with other another site in West Virginia for the distribution center and the approval of the site plan by USFWS remains the most significant hurdle.
During the call, Schumer stressed the positive impact that the distribution center could have on Orange County and urged the USFWS to approve the site plan without delay. Schumer first spoke with Ashe last night and urged him to begin reviewing the necessary documents immediately. Ashe called Schumer back this morning and said that the review would begin this morning.
"Job creation has got to be our number one priority and we can't allow bureaucratic red tape to send 2,000 jobs and $150 million in investment to another state," Schumer said. "A distribution center like this in Orange County would mean jobs, investment and an economic boost for the entire region. We've got to do everything we can to bring these jobs to Orange County. I'm pleased that Fish and Wildlife has agreed to expedite their review and I will keep working with them until the site plan has been approved."
Currently, an unnamed company is looking at sites in Orange County and West Virginia to locate a $150 million distribution center with the potential to create 2,000 jobs. The proposed site in Orange County is a 138 acre parcel of land on Neelytown Road in the Town of Hamptonburgh called Hudson Valley Crossings. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has approved the site but still needs final approval on the site plan from USFWS because the proposed site includes the habitat of an endangered species, the Indiana Bat. The potential project's developers have submitted the site plan which outlines how the distribution center would be built and details potential impacts on the environment, yet the plan is still awaiting approval from USFWS as the competition for the distribution center enters its final days. Last night, Schumer called on the USFWS to approve the site plan quickly so that Orange County will remain competitive as the final location is selected.
If Orange County is chosen, the $150 million site would break ground sometime in 2011 with a targeted completion date of 2012. Already, the state and Orange County have offered a package of incentives, but the lack of approval of a site plan by USFWS remains a major stumbling block. If the site plan is approved quickly by USFWS then Orange County will have a strong chance to land the distribution center.
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