People’s Column

Zoning board ignores issues


Thanks to the city of Dunkirk and the Zoning Board for throwing Fairview Avenue and neighboring streets “under the bus” by approving the Great Lakes Cold Storage. The majority was ignored.

Much was not mentioned in the follow-up in your paper – such as the dangers of the chemicals in this facility to all of us, and this would or could mean evacuations in an accident. The industrial sites were for these businesses.

Main Street Extension is not built for this 24-hour semi traffic. Did Dunkirk promise a new road, too?

The wall to protect our street from noise 24 hours a day will only be a shorter berm, pretty but useless.

Our homes will be half the value they are now. The city must reassess our homes at the least.

Beware – if they are doing it to us – they will do it to your neighborhood, too. Keep vigilant – ask questions, attend meetings. Enjoy your summer — we won’t, seeing this built in our backyard.


Fairview Avenue resident,


Athenex work

needs fairness


Athenex took a step closer to building its facility in Dunkirk when developers were asked to submit proposals for the project. Unfortunately, there is word that project leaders are also considering the use of a project labor agreement. Your readers may recall that a PLA was the source of some controversy in the SolarCity project, which resulted in the indictment of several figures involved in that development.

A PLA requires a contractor to comply with costly union work rules and get its workers from the nearest “local” union labor council; in this case, that would be the Buffalo Building Trades Council.

This guarantees most of the workers on the job would come from places like West Seneca and Tonawanda. In an area like Dunkirk that has more merit shop (nonunion) workers than union members, it makes no sense to use a PLA.

The mandate of a project labor agreement would promote the lack of fairness that comes when there is a deviation from the normal bidding process. With the call for more sunshine on projects that get state support, the use of a PLA is a bad move.

This approach of using union-favoring construction will leave the project subject to more corruption and federal scrutiny.

We support the project and think it is going to be a great opportunity for Dunkirk. But we also believe it is imperative that the leadership of Athenex and the state to make it clear that a PLA will not be required on the project.


Vice President of public affairs,

Empire State Chapter of Associated Builders & Contractors