Malta has an AMD wish list

Town of Malta officials met St. Patrick's Day, Monday, March 17, to see what could possibly be at the end of the Advanced Micro Devices rainbow.

AMD, which plans to build three chip fabrication plants in the Luther Forest Technology Campus and bring 1,405 jobs to the area, is also obligated to provide host-community benefits to the town.

Specific projects have yet to be hashed out, said Malta Supervisor Paul Sausville, but the board is considering asking for funding to supplement public services that the proposed chip fab plant will affect. These include new town offices, a new highway garage and a new fire station closer to Luther Forest than the current main stations.

"With AMD coming, there are greater responsibilities for our fire departments," Sausville said.

Sausville explained that the Round Lake and Malta Ridge fire companies have their main stations at the extreme northern and southern ends of town. Smaller substations exist closer to the center of town, but with AMD coming, Sausville said a larger, more centrally located station is needed.

Round Lake Mayor Dixie Lee Sacks added that there was a concern in the community that the Round Lake station is so close to part of the Round Lake bypass that it may pose a problem for fire trucks entering and exiting the station.

Sausville said the Town Board has yet to confer with officials from the Malta Ridge or Round Lake fire departments about the possibility of a new main fire department.

Funding for other town projects and services, like funding for the planned Malta Community Center expansion and operating money for libraries and schools, is also under consideration.

The town has also contemplated proposing a "locals-first" hiring program to AMD.

AMD's manager of global community affairs, Ward Tisdale, reiterated to the town recently that the chip manufacturer wanted to be a community partner in the town. "We want this to be an inclusive process where, ultimately, the community and AMD are working together to make Malta a better place to live," Tisdale wrote to the town on March 10.

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