A recycling corporation is looking to revitalize an old industrial site within the City of Watertown, but their plan is being met with some resistance. Our Amanda Kelley tells us why some people are against having an industrial business move in on Pearl Street.
WATERTOWN, N.Y. -- This property along Pearl Street has remained vacant for years. But now, Empire Recycling is looking to move in, remodel the building and begin operations.
Watertown Mayor Jeff Graham said, "Right now, it's an abandoned industrial building and this would provide some use and employment and maybe they'd have to maintain it a little better than it is now."
But at a public meeting Monday night, some concerns were raised about what a metal recycling business would bring to a busy part of town.
Watertown resident Lee Horan said, "They are noisy, dirty, dusty and that's going to be the same thing there. So again, why is it being put there?"
Empire Recycling Corporation defended its operations, saying there would be a minimal impact on the community.
Edward Kowalsky of Empire Recycling Corporation said, "No scrap metal or operations of cutting or anything will be outdoors. It will all be in the building."
Residents aren't just concerned about the noise and dirt this new business would bring to the area. They say it just doesn't fit with the city's current plan to revitalize this neighborhood.
Horan said, "What happened and where are the Waterfront Revitalization people to say, wait a minute, I thought we were going a different direction?"
The city is in the process of adopting a Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan where they will work to encourage commercial business development and create green spaces along the Black River, but that plan is not yet in place.
Graham said, "We want to try and develop the waterfront, in different ways, but it's also an old industrial town and people have properties along the river and where appropriate, they should be able to use them gainfully."
Empire was awarded a special use permit from the city and will be moving forward with developing their site plan, bringing new activity to Pearl Street for the first time in years.
Empire Recycling says it plans to operate about six days a week, with about 50 to 60 vehicles coming in and out of the facility each day.