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Manlius: Sensus turns to town board to build facility in Manlius

Sensis Corporation, a global provider of defense, security and air traffic systems, wants to bring a unique part of its operation to a parcel of land in Manlius that's zoned strictly agriculture.

The company needs to build a test facility near its current office on Collamer Road. The town does not currently have a zone to cover this type of business. A Dec. 12 presentation to the Manlius Town Board explained the project.

A 5,000 square-foot facility would be built on the 82-acre parcel of land, housing approximately 16 employees. Other characteristics include an earthen berm, a radar test pad elevated by 20 feet and a 120-foot high cell tower with two small antennae. The facility would be secured with a chain link fence.

As for environmental considerations, founder and CEO Jud Gostin said the development would not interfere with surrounding wetlands, there would be minimal increase in traffic, and there would be no radio frequency (RF) transmission issues.

"There is no way we would ever put anyone in danger," Gostin said about the facility that would only be in operation two to three times a year.

Adam Schutz of Gilberti Law Firm described Sensis as an emerging leader in aerospace, saying it would bring the town an opportunity for "leading edge, clean technology."

Town attorney Tim Frateschi offered options such as creating an overlay district or rezoning the parcel as industrial or commercial. Frateschi said the most favorable choice would be to create a separate zone for the project.

In order to proceed, Sensis would need to begin development in early May.

The board, minus councilors Dave Marnell and John Loeffler, motioned to send the proposed project to the planning board for review. Loeffler removed himself from any decision-making due to conflict of interest; he is employed by Sensis. Marnell was not present.

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