Monday, December 05, 2005

Security Center - More Smoke & Mirrors

Looks like the governor, our county executive and other elected officials are giving the Utica area the "shaft" again.

Airport lands security training center

Given all the TAX EXEMPT state institutional land that is being underutilized in the Mohawk Valley, we will now have another chunk of property being dedicated to public use which could have been privatized and taxed. Given the proximity of former Utica State next to Utica College (which is getting into the cybersecurity area) West Utica would seem to have been a natural fit for this facility -- no additional state lands would have been needed!

Choosing the Airport for this facility does three things that benefit Mr. Griffo, the County Legislature and our local state-level elected officials (but not the people):

1) It provides an instant solution to the problem of what to do with the Old County Airport -- a problem that they created by choosing to move the airport to Griffiss without first determining a plan for the old one.

2) It ENSURES that Utica-New Hartford-Whitesboro, or the Oneida Nation, or some enterprising entrepreneur (like the one who created a housing development where people had their private planes in their garages), will NOT continue airport operations there -- avoiding potential competition for the new Griffiss facility.

3) Our Albany reps can claim to have "brought home the bacon."

I predict that very little benefit will come of this. Sorry, but one million dollars is practically NOTHING and does NOT represent a "committment" to this project or this region [compare with the $700+ MILLION of state money going to Albany Nanotech]. A million can be blown on some minor renovations and some conferences. Meanwhile, a tremendous public asset -- the old County Airport -- will be wasted -- I guess we should be used to this style of government by now.

This is nothing more than what happened with the "Center for Brownfields Studies" that we were promised back in 2001 with much fanfare. It produced some conferences but little else.

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