SCHUMER CALLS ON FEDS TO CLEAR FINAL OBSTACLE TO GROUNDBREAKING ON CANANDAIGUA AIRPORT RUNWAY EXPANSION PROJECT WOULD PUT LOCAL WORKERS IN ONTARIO COUNTY ON THE JOB
BRBRSchumer Urges U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Swiftly Approve Wetlands Permit So Construction Can Begin This Year Airport Has Received Millions in Critical Infrastructure Funding That Cannot Be Utilized Without PermitBRBRSchumer Recently Announced $7 Million in FAA Funding for Expansion At Airport That Funding Could Now Remain in a Holding Pattern Unless Permit is Issued; Delays Would Adversely Affect Taxpayers Local BusinessesBRBRSchumer: Feds Must Immediately Clear Path for Airport Expan
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer urged the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to fasttrack the approval of a final wetlands mitigation permit for the Ontario County Industrial Development Agency (OCIDA) to expand the runway at the Canandaigua Airport. Last month, Schumer announced over $7 million in Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) funding for the project, which would allow the Rochesterbased DiFiore Construction to increase the width of runway 1331, as well as extend the runway's length from 3,200 feet to 5,500 feet. Schumer noted that this expansion would put local construction workers on the job, and provide local businesses in the RochesterFinger Lakes region with better access to jet transportation. Schumer highlighted that this jobcreating infrastructure work cannot be delayed.
"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must end unnecessary delays and cut through the red tape that stands in the way of local construction workers breaking ground on the runway expansion at Canandaigua Airport," said Schumer. "I am urging the Army Corps to prime the local economy for takeoff and fasttrack the wetlands permit process so that the project is not put on hold until next year's construction season. Any further delay on the vital runway expansion for Canandaigua Airport flies in the face of the huge economic benefit to taxpayers and local businesses that stand to benefit from this infrastructure project."
In his letter to the top USACE official, Schumer noted that any unnecessary delays in this wetland permit could force the airport to miss the 2012 construction season window,which could increase the project's budget, extend its timeline, and place an economic strain on area businesses that rely on the airport. Schumer cited over a dozen local employers who reply on the airport and support its expansion, including Constellation Brands, Ultra Electronics, Moser Baer Technologies, and EMS Air Services of New York. These businesses emphasized the importance of the airport expansion on their business and their plans to increase utilization of the airport pending this expansion.
On September 7 th, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand announced $7,048,074 in FAA funding for the Canandaigua Airport to finish construction to lengthen Taxiway A by 2,300 feet. The funding was allocated through the FAA's Airport Improvement Program. However, this grant that will allow construction to commence before the winter halts further work could remain stalled until the Wetlands Mitigation Application is approved by the USACE. This project could boost economic growth in the reason by $12 million each year.
A copy of Sen. Schumer's letter appears below:
Lieutenant General Thomas P. Bostick:
I am writing to request the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) assistance to avoid unnecessary delays that could impede the timely start of a critical economic development and infrastructure expansion project in Canandaigua, New York. Namely, I request the USACE expeditiously complete the permitting process for the wetland mitigation application (199298945) submitted by the Ontario County Industrial Development Agency (OCIDA) in order begin the expansion of the Runway 1331 at the Canandaigua airport from 3,200 feet to a new length of 5,500 feet in order to accommodate larger aircraft.
Over the past few months I have successfully assisted the airport to secure over $7 million in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grants which was critical in order to keep to the project's budget and timeline which requires full construction to begin this fall before winter weather halts the construction season. With the construction funding approved, the expansion is ready to move forward but for the issuance of the final wetlands permit. Any unnecessary delays could force the airport to miss the 2012 construction season window which would have a deleterious effect on both the project's budget and timeline and on area businesses that rely on the airport. Over a dozen local employers, including Constellation Brands, Ultra Electronics, Moser Baer Technologies, and EMS Air Services of New York have noted the importance of the airport expansion on their business and their plans to increase utilization of the airport pending this expansion.
I understand the OCIDA submitted its application to mitigate impacts to 0.77 acres of wetlands within the project area to the USACE on May 16, 2012, which was followed by a 20day public comment period starting on July 10, 2012 that generated one comment which the OCIDA addressed in materials provided to the USACE on August 22, 2012. At this time, the OCIDA is awaiting the issuance of the individual permit in order to fully begin construction of this necessary infrastructure and economic development project in Canandaigua as planned.