Can’t ignore job promise

Dunkirk has a dilemma involving the proposed cold-storage facility being proposed on an 18.2-acre property bordering Central Avenue, Fairview Avenue and Main Street Extension. Do we need jobs or do we preserve neighborhoods?

It is a complicated quandary.

The neighborhood being considered by Great Lakes Cold Storage is residential and peaceful. A 100,000-square-foot facility will, no doubt, change the characteristics of the area.

Zoning board members, in approving the variance had a lot to consider before making their decision. It likely came down to one issue: added jobs.

Residents often lament the lack of work here. Dunkirk is trying to change that. While the proposed area is not a perfect location for many, it does make sense in the world of business. The facility would be working with nearby Fieldbrook Foods, which is growing its operations.

“What I envision happening with this facility is by building this facility, Fieldbrook will be able to transfer more inventory to our facility, therefore opening up more possibilities of more production,” said Patrick Gorbett, president and chief executive officer of Great Lakes Cold Storage. “I believe the production line they just opened up created 100 jobs. If we could do the same thing, not only will you get the 40 or 50 jobs here, you’ll also maybe pick up 100 or so in a year or two at Fieldbrook.”

Our region was hit hard by the Carriage House closings and the loss of 400 jobs three years ago. That event impacted property values negatively across the area. We are just starting to recover.

Gaining business, at times, can be uncomfortable. Losing a potential company, with the promise of jobs, would be a missed opportunity.