Sunday, January 27, 2008

At its base, a dumb idea

Great Place column by Tom Condon in the Hartford Courant this morning. Condon, who attended the meeting in Middletown, in which the Army discussed its plans to build an Army Reserve Training Center in Maromas, focuses on the issue of sprawl, and what it really means to be a good neighbor.

As several attendees pointed out, the Army has created its share of brownfields, later abandoned, but refuses to build bases on brownfields. In the case of Middletown, the Army proposes destroying pristine riverside forest instead of considering former industrial sites, which seem better suited.

A comment from Barrie on one of my original posts reports that the budget for the project, which the Army Corps of Engineers refused to report at the meeting, has been published, and is $75,000,000.

Also, the mystery of why Middletown was designated as the site for the base is still unsolved. Rumors floated around the meeting room that the placement of the base was seen as a "favor" to Middletown that was orchestrated by Rosa Delauro. I called Delauro's office on Friday to get some clarification, and spoke at length with one of her assistants who promised to get back to me, and has not yet returned a call with answers to my questions.

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