September 2, 2014
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A downtown for generations to come

To the Editor:

The United States Department of Transportation has announced grants, including $400,000 for Warwick’s Intermodal Station District being created adjacent to the TF Green Airport. Mayor Scott Avedisian has correctly noted that this money will be extremely useful in projecting the marketability for the redevelopment of this site.
I visualize a robust commercial and recreational "downtown" for our great city, with the potential creation of hundreds of new jobs within sight of the airport, where Governor Chafee recently welcomed Jet Blue Airlines. Restaurants, stores and other venues would create a destination location for the many fine hotels in our area and add to our economic strength.
I am proud to have played a part in this, when second passage of the enabling legislation was passed by the Warwick City Council by a 5-4 vote by (then) Councilmen Avedisian, Pisaturo, DeGregorio, Sirr and myself and signed into law on December 16, 1998 (PCO-41-98) by Mayor Lincoln Chafee, nearly 14 years ago.
An idea that began in the fertile mind of the late U.S. Senator John H. Chafee has become a reality that will benefit future generations of our people.

Al Gemma
Independent Candidate for City Council Ward 7


Comments
3 comments on this item

That's a good start now for the airport expansion to begin !!!!!

Hey Michael2012 -

I wonder why the Airport Board put off its August meeting until the end of the month. Is it possible that they will be reviewing a major FAA funding decision on the airport? I doubt it because CRMC did not turn its paperwork in until the end of June thus pushing any federal funding decisions off until the end of September -- and too late to make the upcoming October 1st federal fiscal year. So, when the board meets at the end of August they probably will not be talking about starting the bulldozers until the spring of 2014.

Indeed, time to get going before the price tag goes up more. It's a shame that other airports of this size class around the country made airfield improvements and brought runways up to modern standards years ago. In typical Rhode Island tradition, we bickered and NIMBYed and made political hay in Warwick while the price rose and federal assistance became harder to come by for all sorts of infrastructure improvements, certainly, not just airports. Business and industry picked up on this RI syndrome, typified by the lack of progress on airport improvements and stayed away if they were looking,or moved on if they were already here. Get the bulldozers going as soon as possible.

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