Warehouse May Bring
New Jobs to Area
By John Emerson
WURTSBORO September 5, 2000 As Mamakating residents battle over the towns proposed master plan, one thing appears certain for the future: Kohls is going ahead with its plans to develop a major warehouse within the town along Route 209 near the Wurtsboro Airport.
If they had a building permit today, they would begin construction tomorrow, said Michael Sullivan, president of the Partnership for Economic Development. The zoning for the project is correct under both the old zoning and the newly proposed master plan, so thats not in question. The only thing they are asking for is a variance from the ZBA [Zoning Board of Appeals] on the height of the building. The zoning restricts them to a 32-foot-tall building, and they need a 40-foot-tall building.
Once completed, the project will supply the county with about 900 new jobs, carrying with them starting wages of at least $10 per hour, plus benefits such as vacation and health insurance. The project will immediately add $300,000 in taxes to the town, county and school district. That figure will double to $600,000 over the next 20 years.
Kohls, a major department store chain that is growing in the Northeast, decided to put its Northeast warehouse operation in Mamakating after originally rejecting Sullivan County as a location. The company initially selected a site near Chester in Orange County but ran into trouble when they discovered that a substantial portion of the property was wetlands that were protected by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
When they had to look in other locations, the Partnership submitted a proposal again, and this time it worked, Sullivan said. This is still a very competitive thing and a project that everybody in the area wants. There are even competitors attending planning board meetings, hoping something goes wrong there so they can take it.
Currently, the companys application is before the Planning Board, waiting for a public hearing. That hearing is likely to be held sometime in October.
Sullivan said, if all goes well, construction could begin by November.