Residents Meet With Pipe and Plastics

By Matt Porter

September 14, 2012 Updated Sep 14, 2012 at 6:41 PM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Around 50 West Endicott residents met with the owner of National Pipe and Plastics to discuss its proposed move into the Town of Union.

Although there were a few heated exchanges, much of the two hour meeting was civil as National Pipe and Plastics answered many residents' concerns.

After the meeting, Union Deputy Supervisor Rose Sotak is optimistic the process will move forward.

"I think there's still a couple of questions that the planning board and zoning board are working with," said Sotak. "I think there are things that can be worked out."

The new site is much larger than their current location in Vestal with a quarter million square feet.

Town residents concerned about chemicals at the plant and traffic down residential streets were able to speak directly with the company president, David Culbertson.

"Their concerns are that there have been some businesses in that area that have not been kind to the neighbors in the past. We're not one of those," said Culbertson. "We wanted to express to the rest of the neighbors today that we're the good guys."

Some were more satisfied than others with what they heard.

"I'm a retired safety insurance manager," said resident Julia Hoover, "And the questions I had from that perspective, he really addressed straight on and upfront, initially. And he also answered every question that every neighbor had."

Another resident, Violet Russell, was not so satisfied.

"Why he would think that he would want to put his manufacturing company in the middle of a residential area is beyond me," said Russell. "He says God first, well then we pray to God he changes his mind. He says people first before pipes, than we hope he puts people first."

Culbertson said that if the company is blocked from going ahead with the $15 million project, they are considering another location in Canada.

That would take the plant and its 150 jobs out Broome County altogether.