In every one-on-one conversation that I have had, it is clear that everyone is in agreement that a distribution center on the Westinghouse R&D location is wrong.
It is wrong first because the infrastructure needed to support such a vehicle-dependent entity does not exist in Churchill.
It is wrong because of the extended negative consequences that will affect the entire borough and surrounding neighborhoods.
And finally, Hillwood has hidden and withheld critical information relative to the project, in addition to stating misleading and distorted comments in each of the PowerPoint presentations.
In particular, the fact that proposal is actually 5 mega distribution centers, not one; the equivalent to a dedicated industrial park almost a square mile in area.
Distribution centers are useful and necessary, but they require the infrastructure to function effectively for a given location.
So not acting right now to reject the proposal is hypocritical. Better to simply say no and accept the responsibility that to do otherwise will destroy the Churchill Borough. Better to stand up against the Hillwood proposal now and stare down the threats and intimidation rather than acquiesce and suffer the results later.
Hillwood does not feel they have to negotiate anything. Their only concern is to meet the legal requirements of the ordinances of the borough. So it is useless for the borough to expect that they can come to any compromise with Hillwood with this particular proposal.
The council must stand up and reject outright the proposal for any kind of distribution center. Distribution centers require extensive logistics that are built into industrial parks for specific reasons. And that is done so that the logistical costs by governments and agencies are spread over many projects. Having the county and state put in the level of requirements to support a distribution center at the R&D site, not even considering the other downsides to the community is an unnecessary financial burden on the state, the county, and the Churchill Borough.
Plus the fact that the C 1 business listed as acceptable never ever conceived of a true distribution center, much less a mega operation requiring massive ground disturbances in addition to the logistical construction.
Hillwood is not a local or even regional developer. They do not have to be concerned with their reputation or having to work with other more sophisticated municipal governments in the area. Their sole objective to make the project work for their client. Once the client takes control, they are gone and all that took place or was promised is forgotten.
They are only concerned with executing the project within the rules and changing any rules necessary to get the project implemented as designed. They have no desire or compunction to really be a good neighbor and work with the community for something that the majority of residents can accept.
The Churchill borough and committees clearly have the authority and responsibility to do what is in the best interest of the community, the residents. Hillwood will certainly resist and object and press ahead to do what it feels it can to bypass any negative reactions to this mega project. The borough makes the rules and it can change the rules. Especially when the rules are abused such as what Hillwood is proposing.
So I call on each Churchill council member to stand up and admit and verbally state that the Hillwood proposal for a distribution center is rejected and not appropriate for the site for the community.
2424 Churchill Road