EASTON, Pa. – Residents from both sides of the Delaware River appealed to Easton City Council on Wednesday night to voice opposition to a proposed 510,000-square-foot riverfront warehouse project in Phillipsburg.
"There's no positive impact whatsoever for the city of Easton for that warehouse," said Church Street resident Susan Ravitz.
"It's the fumes from the trucks," said Phillipsburg resident Mike King. "This particular warehouse — there will be 450 truck parking spaces. The impact is, of course, the lights but it's the air."
Earlier this month, Phillipsburg Town Council passed the resolution, by a 3-2 vote, to amend the town's zoning in District 5 of the riverfront redevelopment plan from residential to industrial use. The new zoning gives way for the 510,000-square-foot warehouse development project proposed by USW LLC.
Residents who attended Wednesday night's council meeting suggested that the Easton body send a letter of opposition to Phillipsburg.
"I think it's negligent of this body not to express deep concern about what's happening because of the impact," Ravitz said.
Easton Mayor Sal Panto acknowledged that he has received numerous emails regarding the matter, but added the city cannot dictate what happens in another state and city.
"I don't disagree with you," Panto said. "I just don't think the mayor of Easton should get involved. I will not take a position against another municipality...It's up to the people of Philipsburg to decide on that."
"I don't know how you stop that other than just be cognizant of what's going on and talk to your friends and family on the other side," Councilman Ken Brown said about the warehouse proposal.
"This is going to have a negative impact on your residents," said Fred Stine, a citizen action coordinator for the Delaware Riverkeeper Network.
Neither Panto nor anyone from council proposed or agreed to writing a letter expressing opposition to the proposal.