Press-Republican

Business

October 7, 2012

Council grants easement to Bombardier despite complaints

Part of expansion plan; some residents unhappy

PLATTSBURGH — City of Plattsburgh councilors have granted an easement to Bombardier Corp., paving the way for a major expansion.

But approval has prompted some residents who live near the plant to threaten to sue.

“There will be a lawsuit over this if I have to because I am not living like this,” Laverne Hicks told councilors at the recent meeting.

Hicks and her husband, Harold “Rebel” Hicks, a former city councilor, live at 9 Alex Way, right across the street from the Bombardier plant. The planned 87,600-square-foot expansion will further cause traffic, light and noise problems for them, they said.

Ernest Gillespie, a neighbor of the Hickses, also complained that the expansion would cause problems.

“Nobody seems to care,” Gillespie said.

“Well, if you live there you care.”

The easement, on city property off Main Mill Street, gives Bombardier a new entrance to the plant. It will increase traffic near the Hickses’ home.

‘CROCK OF BULL’

Mr. Hicks said that for the past 10 years, he has had to put pillows in the windows to lessen the noise and light from the plant, but it does not help.

“This is a crock of bull when a man can’t live in peace and quiet in his own home,” he said.

“I will fight you in the courts with my last penny and until my last kick.”

Mrs. Hicks said Bombardier gets anything it wants no matter what impact it has on neighbors.

“Why is the city bending over backwards for someone who gives nothing to the city?” she said.

Robert Kennedy, who lives at 10 Alex Way, said he was concerned that the easement would prevent emergency-services vehicles from traveling through his neighborhood.

Corporation Counsel John Clute said he did not believe the easement would affect Kennedy’s property.

‘MAJOR EMPLOYER’

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