Opposition to Amazon on Grand Island avalanches

Grand Island, N.Y. (WBEN) – The wrangling continues on Grand Island as residents, town officials, regional leaders and developers debate the pros and cons of a potential massive $300 million Amazon facility on the island.

Following a lengthy town board work session, a number of residents weighed-in via Zoom and took the project to task, claiming the project would have an overall negative impact on the residential community.

During the public hearing portion of the meeting, speaker after speaker targeted the project with an avalanche of opposition.

“The issue here is the magnitude,” said Grand Island resident Roger Cook who drew a comparison between the proposed Amazon project and the sprawling Tesla plant in South Buffalo.  Cook says the glowing economic predictions that preceded the Tesla development have yet to become reality and he fears the same for the massive project on Grand Island.

Resident Mary Beth Sheehan says her main opposition to the project is based in four core areas; “Traffic,  environment, health, economics,” she said. 

 “We’re asking for multiple in person hearings,” said Sheehan and adds that a decision on such an impactful development should not be made in the middle of a global pandemic.

An additional public hearing, likely not the last, is expected to be held August 13.

Residents and some town board members have been critical of what they call a lack of transparency on the part of the Texas-based developer Trammell Crow which only recently revealed the tenant of the giant facility was Amazon.

Amazon recently extended an offer to Grand Island to fund $10 million toward the development of a new community center on the island in exchange for the town’s approval of the overall project.

“The quality of life of Grand Island residents is worth more than $10 million,” Sheehan told the town board Monday night.