Story Updates

“No Free Delivery for Amazon Project” (Dec. 4)

An Amazon warehouse proposed for the long-abandoned IBM West Campus site on Route 52 near Interstate 84 in the Town of East Fishkill has been approved.

The Town Board approved significant changes to the zoning for the 124-acre site to allow for a larger mix of uses, Supervisor Nicholas D’Alessandro said. 

The developer is planning to construct a 631,000-square-foot, $135 million warehouse with 132 docks that Amazon would lease for use as a distribution hub. Amazon estimates the facility will employ the equivalent of at least 500 full-time employees, with hourly wages ranging from $15 to $29. 

The Dutchess County Industrial Development Agency in December approved property tax breaks worth $14.3 million over 15 years, along with exemptions on sales and mortgage taxes.

“Officials Fault Utilities for Isaias Response” (Aug. 28)

Altice USA, which provides cable under the Optimum brand, agreed to pay $72 million to settle claims that it failed in its response to Tropical Storm Isaias, during which 400,000 customers lost television and internet service for prolonged periods. 

Altice will spend $68.5 million on storm-response measures, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said this month. The company is also refunding $3.4 million to customers. 

 The state Public Service Commission accused Altice of violating state law and its orders by not having enough personnel and equipment to restore service after sustained 40-mph winds and 70-mph gusts inflicted heavy damage on utility poles and power lines and conductors. The company also was accused of waiting six days to coordinate with local officials.

“Dutchess School May Close After 86 Years” (May 1)

The Poughkeepsie Day School, which closed for the 2020-21 school year after 86 years in operation because of financial shortfalls, is taking admissions inquiries for the fall following its takeover by a new board that includes alumni. 

Kai Lord-Farmer, the board secretary, told The Poughkeepsie Journal last month that at least 60 students are needed to support a new financial model and that 80 families have expressed interest in returning and 50 new families have inquired about enrolling their children.

In April, the former board announced that there was no “viable plan” to continue operations after years of declining enrollment and deficits aggravated by the pandemic; it closed the school on June 30.

A group called PDS Lives formed to rescue the school. Its updated mission statement and academic model calls for a “more explicit focus” on social equity, anti-racism and environmental education.

Poughkeepsie Day, which drew students from Beacon and Philipstown, was founded in 1934 as a parent cooperative with 35 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It added a high school in 1971.

4 thoughts on “Story Updates

  1. Amazon is promising to create “the equivalent” of 500 full-time employees at its recently approved East Fishkill warehouse. What does this mean? Is it 1,230 jobs at 20 hours per week or less? In the context of a vote on the unionization of its labor force in Virginia, Amazon stated that it gives admittedly excellent benefits to all its full-time workers from their first day on the job. It didn’t discuss the benefits, if any, available to “full-time equivalent” workers.

    • In this case, 500 “full-time equivalent” jobs translate to about 1,450 part-time jobs. In November, an Amazon representative told the East Fishkill Town Board that the warehouse will have two shifts, each with 729 part-time employees. “They are not full-time jobs,” he said, according to the meeting minutes. Asked by a board member if they would be minimum-wage jobs ($12.50 per hour), the representative said only that they were “warehousing jobs.” Amazon earlier said that full-time supervisors will earn at least $15 an hour or $60,000 in salary annually plus benefits.

  2. Amazon says that full-time supervisors will earn $15 an hour or $60,000 annual plus benefits, but that only works if they work 80 hours a week. I believe you meant or Amazon meant $30,000. I find this extremely misleading to readers.

    • Sorry, that could have been clearer. As we reported in December, Amazon told the Dutchess County Industrial Development Agency that pay would range from $15 to $29 per hour. (The minimum wage outside of the New York City metropolitan area is $12.50 per hour.) It said 50 of the jobs would be salaried management positions paying an average of $60,000 a year, and the other 450 would be production jobs. In November, it told the East Fishkill Town Board (Page 8) that there would be two shifts with 729 part-time workers per shift, or 500 “full-time equivalents.”