Tools

Officials ask President to remove roadblocks to build Chip Fab site

By JOLEEN FERRIS

MARCY, N.Y. (WKTV) - When Mohawk Valley EDGE President Steve DiMeo travels the world promoting the Marcy Nanotech Site to chip fab plants, he leaves a crucial element out of his sales pitch.

"Well, first of all, we never tell them about special condition number one.....that's not what the industry want to hear," says DiMeo.

Special condition #1 is a restriction the Army Corps of Engineers put on the EDGE's permit for the Marcy site. It says that a tenant must be identified and confirmed before a developer can disturb wetlands at the site off of Hazard Road.

The trick, DiMeo says, is getting a tenant to commit to a site that's not completely shovel-ready.

"Why should they sit back and basically be the party that's preventing us from fulfilling all of our development obligations so we can ready this site and be in position for the next development?" asks DiMeo.

U.S. Senators Gillibrand and Schumer and Congressmen Hanna and Owens have written President Obama, asking him to work with the Army Corps of Engineers to eliminate the hurdle.

EDGE officials question its necessity, saying they've committed to creating more wetlands than they'd be disturbing in getting the site completely shovel-ready.

DiMeo says the restriction may have already cost the Mohawk Valley a potential tenant.

"It came up with AMD," DiMeo said. "We spent a lot of time with AMD back in 2006 on the wetlands issue and they put it to us point blank - they said it can take anywhere from three months to three years to deal with the Army Corps of Engineers. Their parting words to us was: get rid of the wetlands issue. Develop the site."

What's On