Letter – Choose wisely on the Port 460 project

Published 7:21 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2022

To the Editor:

Change is coming. It’s going to happen.  Get used to it! But, the Port 460 project isn’t a done deal and isn’t the change we need. Suffolk City Council should choose not to rezone the 500 acres from agricultural, not even to residential/commercial, much less to industrial.

I watched the Aug. 3 council meeting on YouTube. Many facts were presented — facts, not opinions — that should convince council not to choose rezoning.

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Money. Who’s getting rich off this? Not Suffolk citizens; we’ll pay millions for roads and added school expenses for kids of 9,000 workers, but this is large corporation stuff. The money will go to some big corporate headquarters elsewhere. Tax income on these properties?  Big corporations pay lawyers, not taxes. Choose wisely.

Climate. Corn and cotton absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen.  Diesel engines burn oxygen and give off noxious fumes. We’re talking about increasing truck trips from 3,000 per day to 12,000 per day. What about runoff? Habitat loss?  Choose wisely.

The other kind of “climate.” Do you want to look at fields of green or concrete, asphalt and sheet metal? South Norfolk here we come. Suffolk already has 13 warehouse districts; do we really need more?

Choose wisely.

Housing — The 5 million square feet of warehouses should employ 9,000 workers averaging $17 per hour, or  about $47K per year. Where will a family of four with a $47K income per year live? Low cost apartments? Townhouses? Trailers? Pre-fab neighborhoods? Choose wisely.

Safety — U.S. 460 and U.S. 58 are already the most deadly roads in the state, largely due to trucks. Add 12,000 more trucks per day and send your teenage driver out there. Choose wisely.

This is not “let’s go back to our agricultural roots.”  This is a choice to turn a rural city into an industrial wasteland, or not.

Choose wisely.

Bradford Andrews

Suffolk