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Schumer urges Air Force to ‘prioritize’ budget funding for demolition of BAE site

By Eric Reinhardt

Date:

UNION — U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D–N.Y.) on Monday urged the U.S. Air Force to “prioritize” funding in its operations and maintenance budget for the demolition of the former BAE Systems site in the town of Union.

The Air Force has committed $1.2 million to conduct an environmental assessment of the site, Schumer’s office said in a news release.

The Democrat announced the Air Force funding in his remarks at the site. Schumer views the financial commitment as the “first major step” in the demolition of the former BAE site, the news release said.

With the environmental assessment on track, Schumer urged the Air Force to prioritize the demolition of the former BAE site.

The Democrat also intends to “fight” for federal funds in the Air Force budget to complete the project, which is estimated to cost $17.3 million, according to the release.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) secured the funding for the environmental assessment last month, Schumer’s office said. The Senator expects the USACE to conclude its study in “roughly” six months.

In order to speed up the timeline for the eventual demolition, Schumer is urging the Air Force to prioritize funds in its operations and maintenance budget for the demolition of the BAE site.

The Air Force needs to “step up” so flood recovery can continue and local resources aren’t wasted footing the bill to maintain a “derelict site,” Schumer said in the news release.

The site is described as “an eyesore, a drag on local finances, and a hindrance to redevelopment efforts in the town of Union,” in the news release from Schumer’s office.

The Broome County Industrial Development Agency has been paying more than $14,000 per month in maintenance and security costs on the shuttered building, the Democrat’s office added.

Contact Reinhardt at ereinhardt@cnybj.com

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