LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Last week, TJX announced its plan to bring a HomeGoods distribution center — and about 1,000 jobs — to Lordstown. But several residents say they don’t want it.
At a town hall meeting Monday night, people got the chance to learn more about the project, which would cost $160 million and create a thousand jobs over five years. The forum was not supposed to be open for public questioning, but it quickly turned otherwise as residents expressed their concerns and anger.
Truck noise and routes were just one of the concerns residents shouted out toward TJX Vice President of Real Estate Mark Walker.
“Hallock Young Road has no connection to our building in terms of there’s no ability for an associate to enter or leave here,” Walker said.
He presented the routes and blueprints of where the HomeGoods distribution center might be built off of Bailey Road come 2020. Included in the construction would be realigning Hallock Young Road and adding two traffic signals at Ellsworth Bailey Road.
First, the company has to get the land rezoned from residential to industrial.
Some wanted to know what would happen to people who live in trailer parks there.
“I enjoy sitting out in the summertime on my porch and looking at sunsets. I don’t want to be looking at street lights and trucks going up and down the road,” one resident said.
TJX told the residents there would be a buffer of woods between most of the homes, and the trucks would be newer and quieter. Walker also said $600,000 would be going out every Friday in payroll for the 1,000 employees.
“Well, they’re going to be $10 an hour jobs,” said Regina Garver, a concerned resident. “And he did make the statement that these jobs, people can buy houses. I don’t know who can buy a house on $10 an hour.”
“If they can’t become a good fit, the jobs will go to East Central Pennsylvania, and that’s not a threat,” Mayor Arno Hill said. “That was their second site.”
Walker said Lordstown was chosen out of 12 communities across the country.
Hill, who is for the project, said nothing is finalized.
“They can think whatever they want, it is not a done deal. If they don’t like what happens, they have the right to appeal it to court just like anybody else.”
In nine days, TJX will present the rezoning to the village planning commission, which will vote on March 26.
From there, it goes to council. If council can’t get five votes to overturn it, the zoning will be changed.
If residents don’t like what happens, they can appeal it to court.
Hill said it will probably be on the ballot in the fall.