If one drove around Grand Island in the last few months, they may have noticed signs calling for Amazon not to set up shop on the island. Now those calls seem to be answered.
“It’s hard to comprehend how this type of development even got as far as it did,” said Cathy Rayhill, Coalition for Responsible Economic Development for Grand Island spokesperson.
On Wednesday, the Town of Grand Island posted on its Facebook page saying developers TC Buffalo withdrew the application for “Project Olive,” which would’ve brought a massive Amazon storage and distribution center to the island, along with 1,000 jobs — but from its inception the project had opposition.
“They range from traffic concerns to environmental impact to appropriate zoning or not and the property rights of residential folks here,” said Rayhill.
Last month, the Coalition for Responsible Economic Development for Grand Island formed out of opposition to the project.
Rayhill is skeptical about the decision considering the project was recently put on hold and Amazon tried to offer a $10 million incentive to the island in exchange for its approval.
“The last time this happened they put the project on hold, the next thing you know the county executive is doing a full court press. A lot of people are trying to pressure our town officials to approve this and we thought that was very inappropriate,” said Rayhill.
“We’d love to see responsible business come here that fits the character of our town,” said Rayhill.
Some residents supported the project, saying the jobs and additional tax base were needed. Some signs that read “Primed for Amazon” could be seen on some front lawns.
There was a public hearing on Project Olive set for Thursday night, but that has been canceled.