GATES, N.Y. — The County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency (COMIDA) voted in favor of Amazon's proposed waiver that allows it to hire outside contractors for the distribution center coming to Manitou Road in Gates.

The Economic Development Council had criticized Amazon for requesting the waiver.

Amazon says it needs specialized equipment and construction practices not found in Monroe County.

Amazon will still be hiring local contractors for most of the $500 million project, which includes 2,000 construction jobs and over 1,000 permanent jobs once the facility is completed.

"The COMIDA board had a difficult decision to make on the Amazon project and I want to thank each and every member for taking their time to study the issue and for their due diligence throughout this process," Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said in a statement. "At over $500 million, this is an important and needed project. Amazon’s investment in our community is significant and represents the largest single construction project ever brought before the COMIDA board, creating 2,000 construction jobs and over 1,000 permanent jobs when completed. This project will have a lasting economic impact on Monroe County and comes at a time when too many people are without employment because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, as with every project, we need to make sure applicants seeking local incentives employ local workers and comply with their agreements. My administration is committed to ensuring Amazon complies with this new local labor agreement, and that local labor receives as much of the work on this project as possible."