STILLWATER, N.Y. – "If we don't move forward, we won't go forward," Stillwater Town Supervisor Ed Kinowski said.
Forward progress was the motivation behind the Stillwater Town Board's unanimous vote Thursday night to allow zoning changes that pave the way for a second chip plant at the GlobalFoundries site in Luther Forest.
"We're a small town,” Kinowski said following the vote. “We've got roughly a $5 million budget and this just gives us that boost for us to do all the things we want to do in our township."
While GlobalFoundries executives have not committed to moving forward on the proposed $14.7 billion project, known as Fab 8.2, the changes to the planned development district allow for taller and larger buildings with an additional 175,000 square feet of clean room space. Malta town leaders approved a similar measure last month.
"What this does, though, is it's very important to clear the path so the business knows that they're able to, in short order, move forward in the event that there is a business need," said Mike Russo, GlobalFoundries’ director for U.S. government relations.
A second chip plant is expected to add 3,700 additional jobs at the company, which already employs more than 2,000 people locally.
Under the agreement approved Thursday, GlobalFoundries will pay Stillwater $3 million toward the purchase of Brown's Beach, which officials hope to reopen to the public after it was privatized and closed in 2006.
"It's a jewel in a lot of respects, it's a diamond in the rough so to speak and it's the only public access to the lake," Kinowski said.
"It's a very historic property and bringing that back to its former glory is really a great piece and it excites a lot of people," Russo said.
GlobalFoundries executives have not offered a timeline on the decision process for Fab 8.2, but civic leaders remain confident the zoning changes and tax incentives approved earlier this year should be enough to bring the project to Saratoga County.
"When you look at the billions of dollars being poured into this area, we're lucky and incredibly fortunate," Kinowski said.