Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tug-O-War Over Chip Plant (2)

In a follow up to last Friday's post on the chip plant "Tug-O-War" the Albany Times-Union reports:
Officials in Oneida County are making a play to attract a $125 million computer chip research facility proposed last week by IBM Corp. and the University at Albany. . . .

It appears that Albany and the Capital Region would be a logical choice for the facility, but that hasn't been determined, NanoCollege spokesman Steve Janack said. Rensselaer County has also been talked about as a possible site.

"No decisions have been made about location for a facility, or anything along those lines," Janack said. "The intent of the investment is to create opportunity across upstate New York. Clearly no decisions have been made."

At least Utica-Rome is getting some positive press in the Capital District and "no decisions have been made."


Anonymous said...

Notice how people outside of our area call us "Oneida County" or "Utica-Rome" but yet our so-called "leaders" insist on calling us the "Mohawk Valley?"

It's a real shame!


Greens and Beans said...

I give Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. credit for sending a letter to Governor David Paterson to make our case for the advanced semiconductor packaging research and development center slated to be located in Marcy. Picente stated that “we're very interested and going to be very aggressive." This is exactly what we need from all of our elected officials.
However, I question if all of the taxpayer funded entities involved in – or who should be involved in – attracting this high tech facility? What bothers me, as a NYS union official and negotiator, is the conciliatory comment made by Timothy Dunn, vice president of marketing and business development at Mohawk Valley EDGE. Dunn made the sophomoric mistake by stating “the Marcy site is trying to become the location for the packaging plant. But if that doesn't work out, the area can supply local vendors and contractors that would help build and provide services to the plant.” One of the major rules of negotiating is to NEVER tip your hand to any opposing party, in terms of advancing any concessionary settlement(s) should your bid loose. NEVER project the option of settling for less than the ultimate prize.
We cannot stand for the silence of the colleges that make up the nucleus of higher education in this area. This is particularly the case with the SUNY-IT officials. The Albany area colleges, the UAlbany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering as well as NanoCollege located in Rensselaer County, have also been talked about as possible sites. This all points to the fact that we here in Central New York MUST unite and get on the same page or we will surely loose this bid. Surely our local colleges have the capability to craft letters of support to appeal to Governor Patterson in an effort to augment County Executive Picente’s letter.
It is obvious that the coordination of all of the interested agencies, be it EDGE, State, County, City, Local political officials, and colleges must be our first priority. This project is too important to the survival of this area to involve any unnecessary politically posturing. (I am holding my nose when suggesting this point mainly because of our past practice in hiring million dollar lobbying imposture “experts” has been dismal at best.) But perhaps this is the time we should consider seeking professional help to aid the economic development agencies and governments with coordinating, strategizing, and general “think-tanking” this endeavor. This would ensure professional and political bipartisanship with this project.
Money is another major factor that may place Marcy in the front running. The total project is slated to cost between $125 million to $150 million. Mohawk Valley EDGE and has received more than $20 million in state aid for infrastructure improvements to make it ready for a computer chip fab facility. New York State government plans to invest $50 million, and IBM adding the rest. If we could come up with other sources of funding, this would persuade IBM to give Marcy the edge over all other competing areas. We could recoup any additional funding in peripheral support businesses that would, over time, reimburse the taxpayers by providing additional jobs and tax dollars (property and sales) as a return on investment.
The first step however is to make the Marcy site “shovel ready” . . . again.