Schenectady County

Schumer, McNulty push Army to invest in Watervliet Arsenal

Sen. Charles Schumer and Congressman Michael McNulty want the U.S. Army to implement a $64 million p

Sen. Charles Schumer and Congressman Michael McNulty want the U.S. Army to implement a $64 million plan to transform a large part of the Watervliet Arsenal into a high-tech campus to promote job growth.

“The record is that the Watervliet Arsenal reached its height of job development back in World War II, and we have been steadily losing jobs at this facility, literally since the end of the World War II,” McNulty, D-Green Island, said at a news conference this afternoon at the armory. “That has only stabilized in the last few years, and the reason it has stabilized, in my opinion, is because of the [Arsenal Business & Technology Partnership].”

The partnership is a local not-for-profit group formed in 2001 to operate a section of the arsenal campus devoted to private business development. According to officials, 20 businesses, including high-tech companies such as M+W Zander and Vistec Lithography, are located in the partnership’s area of the arsenal.

Partnership President Tony Gaetano said the development plan would include turning over some of the land on the base to the city of Watervliet and the town of Colonie, a different arrangement from the Arsenal Business & Technology Partnership, which leases its space directly from the Army.

Schumer, D-N.Y., argued that the plan could bring an estimated 1,500 new jobs to the Capital Region. He said the Army needs to stop “dragging its feet” and approve the development project, which was recommended by the 2005 Base Closure and Realignment Commission.

“This would allow us to rent out a whole lot more space to a whole lot more companies,” Schumer said.

McNulty and Schumer said they plan to meet soon with U.S. Army Secretary Preston “Pete” Geren, a former Democratic congressman from Texas. McNulty said he hopes Geren will be more reasonable than lower-ranking Army officials he has dealt with regarding the base thus far.

For more on this story, read Wednesday’s edition of The Daily Gazette.

Categories: Business, News

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