Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The "Consolation Prize" ...

Today's OD tells us that 21 acres of the SUNYIT campus are being transferred to NY Office of General Services for a State Data Center.

Is this the "Consolation Prize" for not getting the Chip Fab? Will this reduce the suitability of the Marcy Chip Fab Site? Will it eliminate Marcy as a back up site for the AMD Chip Plant? These questions remain unanswered.

In the meantime, the State of New York has become a slum lord in West Utica. If the State is unwilling to develop "brownfields," how could it expect anyone else to do so? Its approach appears to be to abandon old facilities and build on virgin land. This is bad public policy, particularly in cities such as Utica where entire neighborhoods are affected.

Another facet of this story: What are the site selection criteria? Why the big secret? At this point given the waste of public property going on in west Utica, the people are entitled to know. Perhaps the state is only doing its project on the cheap (like the homeland security facility at the County Airport) to pay a political debt . . . and everyone knows it's more expensive to build on a brownfield than virgin territory.

Same old, same old ....

[8PM update: The Rome Sentinel also has a story on this development, but the impact on the Chip Fab site's marketability and its status as a "backup" for AMD's Luther Forest project are again not mentioned. Fault Lines suspects there is concern by certain Albany-area officials that Luther Forest will not be able to get all its ducks in a row (particularly water availability) quickly enough to satisfy AMD, and that AMD will switch to Marcy as backup. It makes no sense that an actual transfer of the land has to be made merely to "analyze" the site's suitability for the data center -- unless the real intent is to shrink/divide/or otherwise alter the site to eliminate its qualification as "AMD's "backup." Where are there expressions of concern from Sen. Meier, Mr. Griffo, and Mr. Julian on this?]

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