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U-Haul proposes $15M facility

Two U-Haul employees, Russ Dumas in the foreground and Ben Naaktgeboren in the rear, listen to the Montgomery County Planning Board discuss their proposal Thursday night. (The Leader-Herald/Jason Subik)

FONDA — The Montgomery County Planning Board Thursday night voted to approve U-Haul International’s plan to build a $15 million 68,000-square-foot climate-controlled storage facility/retail location on the Perth Road portion of Route 30 in the town of Amsterdam.

Russ Dumas, executive assistant of U-Haul New York, participated in the company’s presentation to the planning board. Dumas said U-Haul has 11 different locations in what the company calls “eastern New York,” but none like the one it wants to build in Amsterdam. He said the new storage building will service the greater Capital Region area and will provide cold storage capability for U-Haul’s customers.

“This will be a two-story building, [with one floor offering climate-controlled storage], for when you have valuables that you don’t want exposed to elements or temperature variations,” Dumas said.

U-Haul is a company that rents equipment, including trucks and trailers, as well as self-storage units.

Dumas said the U-Haul building will probably create 10 to 12 retail customer service jobs. Dumas said the employees will sell and service U-Haul products, such as trailer hitches, boxes, rental trucks and storage space at the storage facility.

Dumas said the new U-Haul building will also sell a product called the “U-Box.”

“A U-Box is a product that a customer can rent a box, we’ll deliver it to their house and they can load it and we can ship it anywhere in the world or we can store it for them,” Dumas said.

The proposed location for the building is immediately south of the Amsterdam Diner, which is located at 4790 Route 30.

During U-Haul’s presentation to the Planning Board, several members of the board expressed concerns about traffic flow into the facility off Route 30.

Brian Osterhout, of Environmental Design Partnership, made the presentation for U-Haul. He said the New York state Department of Transportation has reviewed the traffic impact and not found it to be significant.

“This is not a big traffic generator,” Osterhout said. “There’s no special turn lanes or anything else. There’s no special accommodations that need to be made.”

All of the members of the Planning Board voted to approve the U-Haul project except Raymond Kiefl.

Osterhout said the next step for the project is to go before the Town of Amsterdam Planning Board.

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