1999-08-28 / Columnists

Chatting With Chapey

by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey

Economic development: Addressing a critical need.

On Thursday, August 19 I joined the members of the community
Action Team Operation Technodome Task Force. We are working to bring
economic viability to the community. The specific task at hand is to make
Operation Technodome a reality.

After Borough President Claire Schulman's community meeting to push the Technodome Project, the task force is working to make this happen.

Isaac Parsee and Al Moore are co-chairing the committee. Through
their leadership skills they are working with members of the community and elected officials to determine the level of fiscal commitment of the state
and city to this project. As they clearly noted this work must go ahead immediately because we have a budget surplus at the present time. We need the commitment of funds from the state and city before the monies are allocated to other projects and we are left out. In order for the project to go ahead we need the proper infrastructure. If the state doesn't guarantee its fiscal commitment, it could jeopardize the city's contribution.

One of the committee members Sol Goros wrote to Governor George
Pataki regarding the states commitment to the Technodome proposal by the Heathmount group. He received a reply from Charles Gargano, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Empire State Development Corporation. The reply noted that "in order for this project to come to fruition, it would require a very significant amount of public subsidy from both the State and City of New York for infrastructure and other off-site improvements." Mr. Gargano raises the question of the amount of return on this type of investment. Therefore, Isaac and Al are requesting a meeting with him to determine what types of information he will require in order to move this along.

Dorothy Williams-Perira, a committee member has had prior dealings with the Office of Economic Development. In her experience this office is very receptive to working with the community.

Mark Green, the Public Advocate has been contacted in order to
secure his support. It is expected that he would endorse this effort
because of the large number of jobs that it would bring to the area.

Regular meetings of the task force are taking place. As we progress I will keep you informed.


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