Letter to the Editor: Citizens object to another Truck Terminal

Dear Editor,
I attended the June 20th City Council Meeting to speak at the Old Dominion Public hearing about their
Special permit request to build a 24hour 33,000 sq. ft truck terminal on Medeiros way. It was presented
as a great economic benefit for the city of Westfield by creating 45 terminal jobs which would help the
children of Westfield live in town. I do not see the great economic opportunity as the jobs would only
pay $45000. Furthermore, there was pensive focus on the property taxes this development would
generate for Westfield, but I found it disheartening that Old Dominion nor the City Councilors could tell
the residents how much the tax contribution would be. As a thought I asked numerous citizens if they
would build a new house in Westfield not knowing what the approximate property tax they would have
to pay. Answer was NO. It is far less likely that a Corporate Freight giant like Old Dominion does not have
a good idea what the tax bill would be for this location. They know how little this tax bill for warehouse
space and pavement would be and just don’t want it to be known so the fantasy of a large tax benefit to
the city can be promoted.
There are many potential problems on this Medeiros way development. To name a few the land is part
of the Timber Swamp area and is unquestionably wet, it sits right on the granite barrier separating the 2
legs of the aquifer(one side impacted by the Air base pollution and the Root road side is not polluted
yet) also there is a close proximity to White Oak school, Armbrook Village Senior living facility and more
than 50 residents homes on north road and Scenic ridge. The air, noise and light pollution will be high
price to pay. Numerous other unanswered questions about excise tax, the number of trucks using the
24hour terminal, and are there plans to expand the terminal. The North side is overrun with trucks and
the Old Dominion project is just one more poke in the eye for northside residents.
At the City Council meeting Public hearing 2 individuals and the Chamber of commerce director spoke in
favor of Old Dominion, and in contrast 11 concerned citizens spoke vehemently against the project. The
main objections were not aimed at Old Dominion but at the City council for considering another truck
terminal. This same terminal was previously considered by the City Council and sent to the Zoning,
Planning & Development committee but it did not receive a favorable recommendation resulting in Old
Dominion withdrawing its application to prevent it being rejected. So now it has been resurrected
hoping the new Zoning, Planning & Development committee installed by the City Council will provide a
positive recommendation, so this project can move forward ignoring the citizen objections.
On a positive note a request to continue the Public hearing remain open until the next City Council
meeting July 8th,2019 was passed by an 8 to 4 roll call vote. Eight Councilors wanted the hearing to stay
open to allow citizens more time to gather more information and to find answers for several
outstanding questions. Four Councilors wanted to close the Public Hearing and then take action to refer
it to a committee for a review, to which the public would not be allowed to contribute information or
ask further questions. I urge all citizens to attend the City Council meeting Monday July 8, 2019 at 7 pm
to present any information or ask questions they might feel are relevant to this Special permit. Come
see your City Government in action and let the Councilors see that you are interested in their actions.

John Keilch

Westfield, Ma

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