A recent article in "The Communicator," a publication of the Public Employees Federation, reveals that the State had better be ready for a fight if it continues with its Pataki-era plan to move state data operations from Albany to Utica. The union claimed that the project was not financially feasible when first proposed at a $75 million cost. Now the estimate is $99.5 million. Does it make any sense for a new administration to take on this mounting cost?
As much as the data center would be a shot in the arm for the Utica area, the state should not do this if it makes no sense financially and otherwise ... just like it makes no sense to for the state to spend an extra $300 million to prepare Luther Forest for the AMD chip fab plant when Marcy is ready now.
In that vein, our new county executive, Mr. Picente, was heard on WIBX this weekend offering a new excuse on why Marcy lost the chip fab: the water fight between the Mohawk Valley Water Authority and the State Canal Corp. Of course that is rubbish. (1) The Marcy site already has a water supply, while Luther Forest has to develop a new one (groundwater supplies there are inadequate). (2) The Water Authority is already permitted to serve the Marcy site (as MVWA's service area map makes clear), so there is no permit application for the water fight to hold up. (3) If the Water Authority does not continue with its expansionist plans in the western part of the County (like serving Turning Stone, Vernon and Sherrill), there is plenty of water within the capacity of the existing treatment plant to serve Greater Utica, including the Marcy chip fab site.
That Mr. Picente seems to be making new excuses for our losing the chip fab, and, simultaneously, siding with MVWA on the water fight (to the detriment of future Greater Utica and Herkimer County residents) makes it apparent that he is beholden to the same politics and special interests as his last (at least) 2 predecessors.
Same old same old . . . .