McMahon: There are ‘multiple perspectives’ for a chipmaking project employing thousands at Clay
Onondaga County has “many prospects” for a semiconductor chip manufacturing plant that would employ thousands of people in Clay and invest $ 10 billion to $ 20 billion, executive Ryan McMahon said Thursday evening.
The county does not yet have a tenant for its White Pine business park on Route 31, but it is talking to “several prospects,” and there is a “high probability” that a semiconductor manufacturer will eventually come on. the site, McMahon said. Clay residents at a meeting at Clay Town Hall.
He said White Pine’s size, proximity to a major electrical substation and other factors make it the state’s premier site for chipmakers looking for a place to build a large campus. Manufacturing.
“We are the best site in New York State… because of the electricity, the sewers, the water, because our site is now a thousand acres and growing,” he said. declared after the two-and-a-half hour meeting. “This makes us the number one site. The manpower, the R&D opportunities, you can’t get that anywhere else.
A semiconductor plant would create 3,000 to 5,000 temporary construction jobs and 3,000 to 5,000 permanent jobs, as well as thousands of jobs to support the plant’s supply chain, he said. declared.
The county has been trying to attract a high-tech manufacturer to the site at the northeast corner of Highway 31 and Caughdenoy Road for more than 20 years, without success. But McMahon said the county’s outlook had improved dramatically after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the country’s semiconductor supply chain from Asia, significantly slowing production of automobiles and others. products needed by electronics.
Earlier this month, the Senate passed a bipartisan bill providing $ 52 billion to fund semiconductor research, design and manufacture in the United States. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bill in July or August. US Senator Charles Schumer, D-NY, said the legislation would dramatically improve the chances of a semiconductor maker coming to Clay.
The County Industrial Development Agency is assembling 1,250 acres of land for White Pine. McMahon said the agency had purchased or contracted for 977 acres and hopes to acquire the rest of the land it needs soon, including the 37 homes on Burnet Road, which connects Highway 31 to the eastern part of the site.
All the acquisitions were made under purchase agreements negotiated with the owners. McMahon said the development agency will only use its eminent domain powers as a last resort to acquire the remaining land it needs.
However, many of the estimated 75 people at Thursday night’s meeting said they opposed McMahon’s efforts to lure a semiconductor maker to the site.
Many residents said they feared a project of this magnitude could worsen traffic problems on Highway 31 in Clay and nearby Cicero. Several people have also expressed fears that a semiconductor plant will emit toxic chemicals into the air and into the county’s sewage system.
A resident said the county might as well rename White Pine “black asphalt” because of all the farmland that would be paved for the park.
A county traffic consultant said improvements at major intersections along Highway 31 would prevent such a project from worsening traffic problems.
Robert Petrovich, county economic development director, said releases to air and sewage would be heavily regulated by the Federal Environmental Protection Administration and the Department of Environmental Conservation of the ‘State.
“New York is one of the most environmentally regulated states in the country,” he said.
Several Burnet Road residents said they did not want to sell their homes because their families had lived on the country road for generations and it would not be easy for them to find comparable properties elsewhere.
“I’m not against job creation, but he’s asking a big thing for us to abandon our homes,” Burnet Road resident Michelle Nuzzo said after the meeting. “It’s not an easy thing. It’s sad because I don’t want to see our road go by. It’s a great community.
McMahon said he understands why some residents don’t want to move. However, he said the economic benefits of a major semiconductor maker coming to the city would be huge.
“These types of employers are a game changer for a community,” he said.
Rick Moriarty covers business news and consumer issues. A tip, a comment or a story idea? Contact him at any time: E-mail | Twitter | Facebook | 315-470-3148