Bridge Opponents Draft Legislative Remedy

Amsterdam, NY (August 30, 2013) — Taking a page from the playbook that helped secure funding for the pedestrian bridge, opponents to the pedestrian bridge put forth a resolution to demolish the bridge immediately following its ribbon cutting in 2015.

The draft resolution would attach the destruction of the bridge to a bond act as part of the 2014-2015 state budget. The resolution would seek $4.8 million in funding for the demolition with a projected 12 week timetable for completion of the demolition. The resolution is expected to garner strong local support with several prominent leaders and organizations endorsing the plan.

A spokesperson for Amsterdamians Always Against Any Active or Actionable Advancement Agendas in Amsterdam, or A9, issued a press release from the organization:

” We ask our local and state leaders to urgently secure $4.8 million in bond funding so we may be rid of this Bridge to Nowhere. We demand its destruction immediately following its construction so we may witness the expression of horror on Congressman Tonko’s visage as the wrecking ball hits . Indeed, we see a wonderful opportunity for tax payers to realize savings from our demolition plan by sharing the services of demolition with construction. As the heavy equipment for construction will already be onsite, our plan calls for sharing that heavy equipment and putting it into immediate action for the subsequent demolition. Our shared services plan will assure that our legislative act puts money back in taxpayers’ wallets versus taking it out. We ask our local community to stand with us, to assure that , this pedestrian bridge stands not.”

The proposal from  A9 drew mixed reactions. Jeff Arocs, Director of State Municipal Project Analysis, seemed puzzled by the resolution. “I am not sure their financial rationale makes sense, to be honest. The pedestrian bridge is a large project with some inherent risk and arguably speculative in some regards. Yet, this same group actively seeks funding and supports demolition often with a rationale that is more speculative– they always assume something will be constructed after something is demolished. I’ve looked through decades of cases of demolished sites in Amsterdam and there is absolutely no record of this ever happening.  What’s more intriguing to me in this proposal is why so much effort and advocacy against development initiatives versus A9 advancing their own alternative proposals or ideas? It’s quite odd in comparison to other locales who actively seek ways to jumpstart development. A9 is quite unique in that regard.”

The pedestrian bridge does have a sizable number of supporters in the community who view the effort as a possible first step to revitalizing the city and taking advantage of its waterfront. Resident Carla Larkin supports the effort, “Sure, I can see why it might bring people in. I say it’s worth a shot because really, what else do we have going on or in the works? There’s nothing really”

When asked to comment on the sizable number of supporters, an A9 representative dismissed the support as politically motivated and not representative of “the wishes of the people”.



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