Schumer Wants Broome's Application for Old BAE Site Funding ApprovedPosted: Updated:
United States Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer is urging the Office of Economic Adjustment to approve the application submitted by the Broome County Industrial Development Agency for federal funding to help plan and evaluate options to rehab and develop the AF Plant 59. The site is located at 600 Main Street in the Town of Union.
The site was most recently used by BAE Systems but declared unusable after the facility was flooded in September 2011. The money will support a comprehensive study to redevelop the site and identify the best possible uses for it in the future.
“The bottom line is that Broome County has made tremendous strides to rebuild and rebound from the damaging flood of 2011," said Schumer. "The federal government must now do all it can to support these efforts, and the approval of these vital funds to redevelop the now-vacant site for BAE in Westover is just what is in order."
He adds that the location is one of the few remaining large developable sites in the County's "urban core." It also falls near the future of Binghamton University's Health Sciences Campus.
Schumer says the funding request "aligns perfectly with the mission of the Office of Economic Adjustment to create a positive environment for economic growth, innovative land use strategies, and enhanced quality of life."
You can read Schumer's letter to OEA Director Patrick O'Brien below:
Mr. Patrick O’Brien
The Office of Economic Adjustment
Dear Director O’Brien
I write in support of the application submitted by the Broome County Industrial Development Agency for funding through the Office of Economic Adjustment. This funding is vital for the continued development and rehabilitation of 600 Main Street, the former site of Air Force Plant (AFP) 59, in Johnson City, New York. The funding will allow for the completion of a comprehensive feasibility study for the redevelopment of this site, identifying the best possible use for it in coordination with federal, state, and local partner plans and recommendations.
This site lies in the Village of Johnson City, just east of the City of Binghamton line. In 2011, a catastrophic flood devastated the region and the facility, home to a major aerospace and platform solution company, was inundated with 5-6 feet of water and rendered uninhabitable. Over a thousand jobs were at risk, a major tenant displaced, and a void created in an otherwise vibrant neighborhood. In the wake of this flood, I have worked closely with the Department of Defense to ensure that the Federal Government brings to bear all of its resources in order to help the community rebuild. At my request, the U.S. Air Force committed to the demolition and remediation of the site and the Office of Economic Adjustment determined that the site is eligible for its assistance. I am happy to report that cleanup has concluded and community leaders are looking forward with anticipation to its next chapter. To that end, the site has been identified as a critical “community site” and is one of the chief focuses for the revitalization efforts of the local government. This location is one of the few remaining large parcels of land in Broome County’s urban core that is available for development, and is in a strategic location for a new development opportunity.
The development of the former AFP 59 site will significantly enhance opportunities for economic and business development in the Village of Johnson City, and this funding is critical to assist with planning to ensure the maximum benefit is realized with any new development. Furthermore, the funding request aligns perfectly with the mission of the Office of Economic Adjustment, to “create a positive environment for economic growth, innovative land use strategies, and enhanced quality of life.” As the community is poised to move forward with the future of the site, I urge for the quick approval of their application so they can hit the ground running. Please do not hesitate to contact me or my staff should you have any questions.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator