Friday, July 25, 2008

The army training facility, where will it stop?

Commentary, by fishmuscle:
The military base is on a tour through Middletown, stopping to visit the most beautiful, unspoiled land it can find in our city.  During the spring it meandered in Maromas, apparently savoring the clean air and water of a beautiful meadow on Freeman Road.  This summer it decided to wander in Westfield, drawn by the solitude of small country lanes, the beauty of a farm in continuous operation since 1750, and the extensive wetlands on Boardman Lane. At first, few of Middletown's residents seemed to notice the military base, but this has been changing.  At each of the stops on its tour, the military base has been joined by others who also cherish the treasures of Middletown.  Some came because they wanted to know if the training facility was going to destroy the beautiful, unspoiled land that is one part of Middletown's treasure.  Others came because they wanted to know whether the economic costs to the City would destroy the financial part of Middletown's treasure.  At each stop, the military base has had more and more of Middletown's citizens following along.  Many of those who at first treasured only the meadows of Maromas now also appreciate the wetlands of Westfield.  All of those who treasure the financial strength of our city have followed along.  Now the mayor and common council may join other city residents in questioning whether the military base should stay at its current stop in Middletown.  The citizens of Middletown will rightly applaud this effort by our elected officials to protect the natural beauty and financial strength of our city.  However, this effort is not enough if the mayor and council members become tour guides who steer the military base to another site in Middletown. It is long past time for the mayor and council to guide the military base out of Middletown. It is long past time for the mayor and council to recognize that at every stop on the tour, opposition has grown; if there is another stop on the tour, the opposition will dwarf what has happened at previous stops.  Our city has indulged the military base in a tour of our precious resources for long enough.  

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

The only reason why the Westfield Residents do not want this back yard is the old NIMBY excuse.. South Middletown always gets the "unsightly" resolutions and enough is enough. Anyone remember when the state finally condemned the Village projects? The reason why it should not go on the Aircraft Rd. site is because its polluted- it was done so by the GOVERNMENT. A private business would be better suited for that site because it would then have to adhere to environmental laws. Hello? The government doesn't do a great job of policing itself as far as pollution but they sure are sticklers for private enterprises doing so. And to those who say how can we not support a base- how can we be so anti-military? Its not that Middletown is anti-military; its that some of use realize that this city is over saturated with sites such as GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIZED HOUSING, WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY, HUD, CVH, WHITING, etc etc that do NOT pay property taxes!!! Show me the ghettos of Durham and Portland? Which only raise them for the rest of us!
NO more tax except sites in Middletown! Its time Portland, Durham, Cromwell, where ever share in the burden that these facilities are financially to the home owner & tax payer!!! End the free ride!

Anonymous said...

ECONOMIC BOON ??? Does anyone realize that when the reservist come to use a facility for the weekend they are there to WORK. They often cannot have outside contact. They aren't going to be strolling the streets sampling fine cuisine on Main Street, playing laser tag, buying toys, or going vegan grocery shopping! Thats why its 1 weekend a month 2 weeks a year because the program is compact!! They just want to do a job and go home!

The Chamber of Commerce, Council, and Business Owners need to get the preposterous idea of making a buck off the reservist out of their heads.

No more tax burdens to Middletown!!

Madam Nirvana said...

The military base would take money out of the pocket of the taxpayer with is exemption from taxation. The base is not an entity that will create business for restaurants, or any of other type of enterprise here-really let's be serious. These men & women are not on holiday. The government has pre- set national contracts for food service, plumbers, maintenance, etc and the illusion that any would actually go to a civilian Middletown business is only that - a dream. Will these mythical contracts that few Middletown businesses might receive benefit the collective and make up for this tax burden and environmental travesty? Doubtful. Notice no other cities are "competing" for this facility.. Middletown should use common sense and take notice...

Catherine Johnson said...

I hope the governor finally involves herself and works to get the facility better locaed in a place where it can connect to a local economy and re-use a brownfield.

Please read the article I wrote in this coming Sunday's Commentary section of the Hartford Courant (July 27), suggesting two sites in New Britain.

Anonymous said...

Fishmuscle, you are the man! No one is well served by the location of the Army base in Middletown. Not the City of Middletown, despite the reprehensible tactic of attempting to further a flawed development plan in Maromas, not any of the citizens wherever they live who would face even higher taxes to make up for the Army's demand for City services, and not the Army who deserves an excellent site rather than a bad site in Middletown.

City Leaders! Show some leadership!

Anonymous said...

For our leaders to decry the site on Boardman Lane on conservation issues and applaud their own recipe for conservation disaster on River Road is well, hypocritical. Equally repellent is the enlistment of the Westfield Residents’ efforts as a Bully Pulpit to promote the City’s selected site which has not received one iota of public scrutiny. Is it a valuable piece of Industrial Land that is likely to be privately developed or is it a beautiful wetland? Can it be both? Let us not be disingenuous, the City wants to preserve potentially revenue producing property from the tax-exempt Army so that it will produce revenue! The City wants the Army on River Road to develop the lands next to the Kleen Energy Plant. Yes, the impoverished City is in a bit of a bind and trying to use the Army and the Westfield Residents to help them out. Although it is understandable it is not laudable. Far preferable would be to value the beliefs of the citizens and act as a body to resolve that the Army widen its search for a suitable location.

Jasper Cane

Barrie said...

This is an excellent essay. It is from the heart and from the head. I hope it is widely read. Copies should be sent to the Planning Department, the City Council,the Mayor and the Chamber of Commerce. I could not have said it better myself! Thank you.