Updated 08/30/2012 10:52 PM
Officials disagree on future of Nanocenter project
Earlier this week, the Army Corps of Engineers denied a wetlands permit that would have allowed further development on the proposed Marcy Nanocenter. They say they first want to see a semiconductor manufacturer commit to the site. Our Sarah Blazonis has more on the opposite views of the Nanocenter's fate.
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ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. -- Roads have been built and sewer and water lines installed at the site several in Oneida County hope will be the future home of the Marcy Nanocenter at SUNYIT.
Legislature Minority Leader Frank Tallarino says he doesn't think that's a future that will ever materialize.
"I do know there's a time to hold and a time to fold, and against all odds, I think this operation has been carried on much too long at much, much, much cost to the taxpayers," said Tallarino.
Tallarino says he's been skeptical of the project for years, but the Army Corps of Engineers' recent decision not to issue a wetlands permit to the project was the final straw. He says he'd like to see efforts put towards developing other industries within the county, including businesses at Griffiss Park.
"It's not a going issue that is going to create jobs," he said of the Nanocenter. "I'm for creating jobs no matter where they are."
County Executive Anthony Picente says the wetlands in question make up just seven acres of a 300 plus acre site, and now isn't the time to give up on the project.
"For the Army Corps to take this stance, it has been frustrating and unbelievable in terms of looking for an end user before they do that. It's not the way economic development gets done," said Picente.
Picente says options moving forward include litigation with the Corps of Engineers or introducing a new permit.
He also points towards President Obama's recent visit to Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and his comments that work done there should be replicated nationwide as a reason to press on.
"All he needed to do was look 90 miles to the west of that project and see the Marcy site and get the message over to the Army Corps of Engineers, that is under his jurisdiction as President and Commander in Chief, that business doesn't want to wait," said Picente.
But it looks like more waiting is just what's in store for Oneida County before this site's future will take shape.
Mohawk Valley EDGE said earlier this week it was consulting with counsel and other officials about where to go from here. So far, no word on what that next step will be.