Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Epistles from the Army and East Hartford

In an earlier blog we noted that the Army had confirmed to Congresswoman Rosa Delauro that Governor Rell had ordered the Army to remove the New London base from the realignment, meaning that the Army Reserve Training Center could be build on a smaller site. This also means that the Army will likely be back in Middletown making additional searches for acreage on which to build their Training Center. For that we can thank Governor Rell who has otherwise kept herself above the fray.

Here's the letter (click on the letter to see it full-sized):

Another letter, this one in the Hartford Courant, suggests and East Hartford solution to Middletown's problems.

Army Could Use Rentschler Field

August 18, 2008
If the Army Corps of Engineers is looking for a site for their regional training facility in central Connecticut, East Hartford has a potential site that has the appropriate infrastructure already in place; it is flat with 600-plus acres of developable land, has access to I-84, I-91, I-384 and routes 5, 15, 2 and 3, and could be hooked up to the Metropolitan District Commission sewers and water.

The site is Rentschler Field, and while a regional training facility may not be in the current master plan, the facility could easily be integrated. It has been said that the base would more closely resemble a college campus than a traditional army base. The plans for Rentschler Field include retail, housing, high-tech manufacturing and research and possibly higher education facilities.

Adding the facility would bring in 400 visitors a month and create 70 full-time jobs which is very much in line with the goals of the current master plan for the field. With the economy sputtering and retail construction slowing the facility would serve as a great catalyst for continued development. The state has already invested heavily with the University of Connecticut Stadium, incentives for Cabela's and millions in proposed and actual road work within the former Pratt & Whitney airfield. Let's work in the army facility, which results in smart growth, that reuses a brownfield site and invests in a community that has the infrastructure to support a project of this size without paving over more farmlands and wetlands.

Jason Rojas, East Hartford

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A boost to East Hartford and a loss to Middletown.