Herkimer IDA Official Waits for Contact with Remington
ILION, N.Y. (WKTV) -There are now five states that are actively trying to lure Ilion gun-maker Remington Arms to their communities. The southern and western states, including South Carolina and Arizona, boast more business-friendly environments and firearm-friendly laws. Economic development leaders in Herkimer County are reaching out to Remington officials to ask what it will take for the company to shun these aggressive pursuits and remain in Ilion. "We're asking to say, 'listen, can we come in? Can we bring in our economic team? Can we bring in some officials who we know are going to be behind you, supporting what you need?' and at this point even all that's on hold," says Herkimer County Industrial Development Agency Executive Director Mark Feane. That absence of dialogue is unsettling for Feane. "Scares the be-Jesus out of me, really, because what does it mean? Does that mean, are they talking with anyone else? Are they saying 'we've got to weigh our options' any time you weigh your options and you're putting the state of New York against what may be a highly lucrative open arms...opportunity....." says Feane. Feane and Ilion Mayor John Stephens doubt there could be a "Plan B" to replace Remington Arms-and $50 million in annual economic impact to Herkimer County. "I don't think there is, because plan b is not going to help with the impact it would have if they were to leave the area. You can't replace it," says Stephens. Both hope that the company is simply closely examining the wording of New York's new gun legislation and what, if any, impact it will have on production at the Ilion plant. Meanwhile, a rally for Remington is planned for Feb. 28 in Albany.