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GlobalFoundries gets the green light to start clearing space for plant

The newly formed GlobalFoundries has permission to start clearing land at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in preparation for the construction of a $4.6 billion microchip manufacturing plant, contingent upon the execution of a development agreement and the formation of a LFTC landowners association.

The Town of Malta Planning Board unanimously granted the conditional soil disturbance permit at a Tuesday, March 10, meeting.

It's an important first step, remarked Matthew Jones, legal representation for Advanced Micro Devices and GlobalFoundries, after the vote. He said that if all the other legal hurdles are cleared in due course, site work will be under way on or about April 1.

Before that can happen, though, the 222 acres GlobalFoundries is to purchase must be subdivided. That is contingent on the formation of a landowner's association between the town and GlobalFoundries. Then the land can be transferred and a development agreement between the town and GlobalFoundries can be enacted, legally activating the soil disturbance permit.

Councilman Peter Klotz, who was in the audience at the meeting, said that the Town Board will likely be discussing the landowner's association on Monday, March 16.

Approval for land work was also made contingent on satisfactory responses being supplied to a number of outstanding questions. More maps must be provided per the town code and noise monitoring must be started, for example.

Engineering firm CT Male will monitor the noise throughout the construction process. The site is to be encircled with four noise-monitoring devices that will be placed in the coming week to establish baselines. The site plan stipulates that noise impact cannot exceed 45 decibels at night, 55 decibels in the daytime.

With soil disturbance permit in hand, the applicant will now focus on gaining an approval for construction of temporary structures at the site, which will likely begin going up in May. Then comes approval of the entire site plan. Splitting the approval process into three steps allows work to be under way at the site while the Planning Board wrestles with the details of a large and complicated site plan.

GlobalFoundries hopes to have the facility up and running by 2011. It is expected to employ 1,465 people.""

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