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Amazon.com Expansion Concerns Supervisors

They'd like another meeting with company representatives concerning funds for ongoing police and traffic issues.

Upper Macungie supervisors welcomed the news that Seattle-based online retailer Amazon.com is adding to its Breinigsville facility, but wants the company to chip in financially for traffic studies and heavy police activity.

A with company officials late last year centered on how thin local traffic and police resources were being stretched by more than 2,000 temporary and part-time seasonal workers at that time.

An announcement earlier this week stating the company is poised to hire hundreds of full-time workers has supervisors eager for a second confab with Amazon.com executives.

"This year has been a total disaster over there in my opinion," said supervisor Sam Ashmar during Thursday's nights agenda meeting. "It's been challenging times and the big company should step up. This burden can't be on the taxpayers. It has to be on Amazon.com."

Ashmar said 20 percent of the Berks-Lehigh Regional Police Department's total crime investigation time is currently spent at Amazon.com. Police have responded to a total of 95 police other calls there this year alone.

The township has also experienced its share of traffic issues along Route 100 when shifts change at the Boulder Drive facility, which also causes the need for some police intervention.

"We welcome Amazon.com, but if they're going to expand, we're going to have to talk to them again," said supervisor chairman Edward Earley.

In other business, supervisors voted to accept the Planning Commission's recommendation to for PPL Corp.'s 99,860 square foot data and IT planned for 7231 Windsor Dr. in Upper Macungie.

Construction on the project could begin as early as late September.

Melissa Moyer-Schneck July 08, 2011 at 03:21 PM
You have to ask yourself, if were dealing with this type of traffic now and this type of burden on the police...now....what will happen once Jaindl has his way?......
Joe Corcoran July 11, 2011 at 08:40 PM
The Amazon expansion is a good news/bad news situation for the township. At first glance it's never a bad thing when more jobs are created in any community, expecially in the current economy. The bad news is that most of these jobs will not be filled by local residents. The staffing agency that hires for Amazon frequently recruits lower cost workers from outside of the township and busses them into the Amazon facility.

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