Thursday, September 13, 2007

Leasing the Airport - a Simple Request . . .

The County is about to lease the former Oneida County Airport to the NY State Homeland Security Preparedness Training Center, taking a lot of prime, valuable, developable land off the market.

Is the County that hard up for money ($600K/year), or does it expect to hit it big with the Preparedness Training Center sending a steady stream of first responders to spend money in the local economy?

The former is doubtful. If the county is that strapped it could not have afforded to give New Hartford $150,000 back in February that it was not required to give.

If the County really is hopeful that the the center will be an economic boost, why does it not seek assurances of the State's commitment to the project?

Before approving this lease, the Board should insist on receiving and making public:

  • (1) The State's Business Plan for the project. Exactly what courses will be offered, who will be participating, what marketing efforts will be made, how will it grow its clientele?
  • (2) A financial commitment from the state on a par with what has been done in other areas ($20-30 million would seem about right given a recent project in Binghamton).
If the state does not want to provide these things, then how about an "Empire Zone" - like clause in the lease:

  • If the state does not meet a specified level of performance, the County has the option of prematurely terminating the lease.

The Board of Legislators has an obligation to the taxpayers of the County to protect our interests.

1 comment:

Mrs Mecomber said...

Strike, you said: "The Board of Legislators has an obligation to the taxpayers of the County to protect our interests."

Is this really so? Judging by the way the Board ACTS, the Board has an obligation to the taxpayers of the County to TAX our interests.

That's what is seems like, and more and more every year.

They should be on their knees, thanking us that we stay in this county, rather than penalizing us.