Dear PB Members, BOS Members, Town Planner, Town Engineer, and Town Administrator;
This is a follow up statement and new questions with context around traffic, employment, and general topics resulting from the December 30th Planning Board meeting with Hillwood, Amazon and town residents concerning the proposed Hudson Logistics Center.
I continue to be amazed at the lack of quality, credible information provided by Hillwood and Amazon along with inaccurate everchanging data and misleading/shady answers to many questions. You should not expect anything less as resistance against these proposed centers across the Northeast and country builds each day. Hillwood wants to build this place and Amazon wants it up now thus the constant push for speed. They want to get these facilities in place before all the towns wake up and residents realize their town’s character and quality of life is gone forever. Mr Griggs, Amazon Economic Development Manager Northeast/MidAtlantic Region, insulted me and I am hoping all in Hudson when asked what happens when capacity is reached. He responded, “Well we add another Dot to our map”. Just great, we are dots and not a town with character and hardworking people in it. Not a surprise as Mr Griggs has never been to Hudson, never been to the proposed site, and has never worked in an Amazon Logistics Center. All I can say to that is “WOW” but I am not surprised knowing what I know about this industry and its players. Just imagine how we will be treated if they are approved to be here. Check into all the towns regretting their decisions and what is going on. The towns are waking up to it.
I have a few direct questions with context I’d like the Planning Board to address:
1. How many employees will be working in Buildings A and B? Hillwood and Amazon need to get their employee numbers squared away so we all understand the real traffic impact and not numbers from a modeling system that has not proven itself out in this new business area. Hillwood claimed 1029 employees with a 60% surge during Holiday season adding an additional 618 part time jobs for an employee count of 1647 for peak count. Amazon official said it would be 1400 employees and agreed it is a 60% surge. Well that surge would then be an additional 840 to raise surge employment to 2240. A big difference. AND this does not include Building C (Mystery Building) which is the unknown piece.
2. How many more people will be entering and leaving the site on top of employees? What times will they go in and out? Hillwood’s Mr Plant was asked if service workers (Cafeteria, Janitorial, Maintenance, Security) were included in the employee count and he responded that they were. Amazon was asked and he responded that they were not and were contracted out. Now up to several hundred people are not included in the site employee count. Hillwood once again corrected themselves and said they were part of the vehicle trip numbers and not the employee count.
3. What are the real Tractor Trailer, Box Truck, and Car #s? Hillwood and Amazon quoted us 40% capacity on average with surges for 2 weeks at Christmas at the last meeting which I called “bull” on and yes now they admit it is like an “accordion” which can stretch out to meet the needs and future growth. This facility will operate at 100% of capacity soon at which time they will then add another “dot on their map”. Mr Griggs then said the surge is November thru Mid-January for an 11 week period (another Hillwood mislead from their quoted 2 weeks). That’s a huge difference. Let’s look at the numbers:
Mr. Plante, Hillwood/Langan, said during the meeting that there would be 4,000 vehicle trips per day on average. So a 60% surge really means 6,400?
These numbers exclude Building C. I believe the Tractor Trailer and Box Truck numbers are still low for this facility. The # of employees could be reduced with the introduction of additional robotics and acceleration of artificial intelligence.
4. Where will all the employees come from? I want you to find out as it will impact traffic flow directions. My market research group pulled some interesting data about Hudson which is easy to find. Here is the data with comments:
Town: Hudson, NH Population: 25,600
% Unemployed Oct'20: 4.1%
% Unemployed Mar'20: 3.3%(this is 477 workers) Precovid
Full employment is considered at 4% unemployment rate.
So where are the 1400 jobs going to come from? The 840 surge jobs?
% Unemployment Rates Oct’20:
Lawrence/Methuen/Salem Area: 9.4%
Lowell Area: 8.0%
Nashua NH: 4.1%
So where do you think they will come from? Looks like a lot of backroad traffic coming here for jobs we do not have people for. Once again, Hillwood and Amazon are not doing their homework.
Should we mandate a % of the workforce be from Hudson? Minimum 50%
Hudson NH Income:
Per Capita: $42,146
HH Median: $96,224
Amazon Pay: $15/hour
Yearly Pay(40 hr/wk): $31,200
· This reduces our per capita income for Hudson.
· 90% of these jobs are entry level
· Mr Gibbs quoted an average Management Pay @ $60,000/yr
Where’s the $81.5 Million/year in Payroll promised? My math calculates $48 Million and $57 Million with surges. Somebody explain this promise to me!!! Looks like more funny math from Hillwood.
5. Are you going to be asking for new Noise level studies, air quality testing and water testing? This needs to be redone as the additional traffic numbers are not included in the original testing. Just think of that site at 100% capacity with Tractor Trailers, Box Trucks and all those additional cars. If this site is approved, I will be asking for permanent monitoring. What are the penalties for exceeding and the quick resolution? This is about the responsibility of a healthy environment to your residents. DPM (Diesel Particulate Matter) is a Group 1 Carcinogen.
6. Where are the site line studies performed by Hillwood that are going to show us what we will be looking at? They rushed us to do those back in May/June and we have not seen a thing. The “Berm” proposed has to be put in to protect residents from noise and light pollution. It cannot simply be a chain linked fence as referenced by one board member.
7. Will this become a “Drone” facility? Drones are fast becoming a delivery option and testing is rapidly expanding. Amazon Prime Air has the drone delivery program under its umbrella and they are looking to expand quickly. The FAA and Govt have approved the use of delivery drones for packages up to 5 lbs and authorized the use of drones in populated areas just recently. However, a few hurdles have yet to be cleared. The Amazon MK27 drone has a radius of 15 to 20 miles which means it can deliver 7.5 to 10 miles from its base of operation. That is quite a distance as the crow flies. New drones are under development by Amazon, UPS and Google. Do not think this would not be in future planning at this facility. I sure as heck do not want these things coming back to Hudson like bees to a hive! What is that 3rd Mystery Building (C) for? What are they hiding? I do not want to see the other buildings converted or adapted for drone usage at any point. Nor do I want to see any plan approval without knowing what is going into that “Mystery Building C”. Approving this plan gives them carte blanche.
It is imperative that all the facts be pulled out and our town gets the complete picture of what is going in. I have 44 years of experience with one of the largest Consumer Product Goods companies in the world and have worked with all the largest retailers including Amazon, managed global business, military business, and our ecommerce development programs, so I have pretty good knowledge and insights of what is going in and where it is heading. Yes, I am still working.
I would appreciate answers to my questions at your earliest convenience.
Note #1: Industry Standard. Term used throughout Mr Plante’s responses. This simply means: “Minimal Acceptable Requirements”
Note #2: Mitigation. Another term used by Mr Plante. This means “making something undesirable less severe, dangerous, harsh, or damaging.”
Note #3: DPM. Diesel Particulate Matter. A Group 1 Carcinogen. More on this at a later time when we are discussing air quality and pollution impacts.
Note #4: Building size. Please consider all warehousing by “Cubic Feet” as a 1,000,000 sq ft building @ 25ft high is not the same as one 50ft high. Automated racking systems go up, down and sideways. We have over 130,000,000 cubic ft going in there! That is the same as filling 34,067 - 53ft Trailers