Saturday, October 4, 2008

Letter from Middletown's Congresspeople to the Army

The Honorable Pete Geren


United States Department of the Army

Army Pentagon

Washington, D.C. 20310-1600

Dear Secretary Geren,

We are writing with regard to the ongoing site location process for an Armed Forces Reserve Center in Middletown, Connecticut. As we are sure you are aware, at a September 17 public meeting in Middletown, the Army Corps of Engineers announced the four sites that it has determined are most suitable for additional consideration in the siting process.

The inclusion of the Kenneth Dooley Drive-Boardman Lane configuration in the Corps of Engineer’s list was met with significant opposition from the public. Both Middletown residents and the city’s elected leaders have made it particularly clear that the Boardman Lane property is not acceptable to the community as a site for the Center, and the Corps’ announcement has further heightened local dissatisfaction with the manner in which this siting process has been conducted.

We have been encouraged by the Corps’ and the Army’s willingness to work with the community to determine a mutually suitable site for the Armed Forces Reserve Center. We were also glad to see that the Corps had taken into consideration the recommendations made by the Mayor’s advisory panel. However, though the Corps has determined the Kenneth Dooley Drive-Boardman Lane proposal to be a “new” configuration, it has been interpreted by many as evidence that the Corps and the Army will simply select a site regardless of public input. The inclusion of this proposal has dampened the sense of collaboration that we had all hoped to create and maintain throughout this process.

While we understand that there are three other alternative sites which will also be further investigated, we are strongly urging that any site that includes the Boardman Lane property be taken out of consideration. We would also encourage both the Corps and the Army to continue in the effort of working collaboratively with the city and residents to determine the most suitable site for this new Center. We believe that a mutually beneficial and suitable location can be found if there is open communication and discussion between all parties.

We appreciate your time and attention to our comments and look forward to your response. In the meantime, if our offices can provide you with any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Senator Chris Dodd

Senator Joe Lieberman

Representative Rosa DeLauro

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