Redefining the character of our town to serve a corporate bottom line does not do us justice

To the Editor:

It is disappointing to read that in a town that can boast the Pine Bush, a singular natural resource of vast environmental significance, what is lauded is that we are an “important shopping destination” [Pyramid’s plans are good for Guilderland, letter to the editor, The Altamont Enterprise, Feb. 27, 2020].

Our identity as a place of distinction does not come from ubiquitous retail and restaurant chains that transform us into Anytown USA. It comes from supporting what is uniquely ours, both environmentally and commercially. Big-box retail endangers local businesses.

Of the 1,500 new jobs being approximated, 79 percent will be gone by the ribbon-cutting. What will be permanent will be the decimation of natural acreage and everything else that common sense would tell you will come along with over-saturating a very compact area. The “little impact on our town’s infrastructure” has yet to be corroborated by experts whose analyses have not been paid for by Pyramid.

However you may feel about Costco, this proposal is more about the specter of corporate expansion. The “vacant or underutilized” land being subsumed by much of this project became so when Pyramid bought up the properties on once-vital neighborhood streets and left them dormant.

In becoming beholden to a corporation with ever-increasing influence to self determine the future of our town, we, the taxpaying citizenry with life-long investments, lose any semblance of equitable representation.

Undeniably, new revenue will contribute to Guilderland’s financial health, but at what cost. After all, even parasites require a healthy host.

At the end of the day, Pyramid Corporation is motivated by the financial interests of itself and its shareholders. Redefining the character of our town to serve a corporate bottom line does not do us justice.

I hope that everyone who is committed to the integrity of Guilderland will attend the Guilderland Planning Board’s public hearing on Pyramid’s draft environmental impact statement at Town Hall on March 25.

Iris Broyde


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