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Churchill Borough Council Approves Amazon Distribution Center Proposal

CHURCHILL BOROUGH (KDKA) -- After months of hearings and hours of public comments, the Churchill Borough Council is moving forward with Amazon.

Council members voted Tuesday to approve a proposal that allows Amazon to build a distribution center at the former Westinghouse campus in Churchill. The proposal was approved by a 5-2 vote.

The project could bring more than 1,000 jobs to the area and $11 million annually in tax money, according to Hillwood Development Company, which represents Amazon.

The site will be twice the size of the Monroeville Mall.

"The land has been vacant for 20 years, something has to be done. It's a blight. We really didn't have a choice. We had a choice and that is what the council made," Mayor Paul Gamrat said.

Opponents of the proposal said traffic, pollution, and land use will have a negative effect on the borough.

"My reaction is both devastated and amazed we are in this position. And resolute. We fight on, we keep going," said Kate Carrigan-Hill, member of Churchill Future.

KDKA's Jennifer Borrasso: What is the plan?

Carrigan: We regroup, and we take this into court.

The Churchill Borough Planning Commission and Council will have to approve the land development. State and federal agencies will also have to approve certain elements.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald released a statement on the vote, saying:

"Thank you to the Churchill Borough Council for all of its work on this important issue. This is going to be a substantial development, not just for Churchill, but also for the residents in all of our eastern suburbs. It's particularly exciting for these communities that haven't seen as much growth as other areas of our county.

"This site has sat vacant for two decades but is now being brought back with potentially thousands of jobs, particularly for Woodland Hills students, allowing residents throughout those communities the benefit of economic growth."

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