Decision on AMD looms in Malta

The Town of Malta's decision on an important piece of legislation that will allow a microchip fabrication facility to be built at the Luther Forest Technology Campus is now in sight. The Town Board heard comments from the public on the Planned Development District (PDD) legislation at a Monday, Aug. 11, meeting.

The town has been considering Advanced Microchip Devices' proposed changes to the PDD since they were submitted in February. The chief change was changing the scope of the project from four fab plants to three buildings with larger footprints. The town was discussing environmental oversight and standards for months with the chipmaker.

Matthew Jones, of the Jones Ferradino Law Firm in Saratoga Springs, which is serving as consulting attorneys to AMD, commended the board for a thorough yet timely consideration of the PDD amendments. He spoke on behalf of Steve Groseclose, AMD's director of global environment, health and safety, who was held up by bad weather in Cleveland.

He wants you to know we're in it for the long haul, said Jones. "We're committed to working with you in the future."

The chipmaker has until the end of July 2009 to commit to building the $3.2 billion facility at LFTC and still be eligible for $1.2 billion in state incentives. Some matters, such as what sort of community benefits AMD will supply the town, will be addressed when a commitment is made.

Though many residents turned out for the public hearing, only five rose to address the board. Several expressed hopes that the facility will allow young professionals to remain in the area after completing school instead of seeking jobs elsewhere.

AMD representatives have said the project would bring 1,465 jobs to the area.

Patty Heidelmark, a member of the LFTC Community Response Board, expressed the group's concerns that jobs could be imported and asked the town to consider inserting language that would guarantee local hiring. The PDD currently calls for postings of employment opportunities at various places locally.

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