Senator Schumer pushes for change at Westover BAE site

By Brandi Bailey

March 24, 2014 Updated Mar 24, 2014 at 6:19 PM EDT

Town of Union, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The after effects of Tropical Storm Lee have been a black cloud over Broome County for more than two years. The Town of Union and the former Westover BAE site could be a sign of hope for the future.

New York State Senator Charles Schumer visited the site to discuss the history of the building and future plans he's working towards.

It's a building with decades of history in Broome County and one of the many buildings destroyed as a result of Tropical Storm Lee.

"When the flood waters receded the building was severely damaged and become one of the largest losses of many due to Tropical Storm Lee," Schumer said.

The former Westover BAE site and holder of thousands of local jobs is owned by the United States Air Force.

Its location at 600 Main St. has sat stagnant for more than two years.

Recently the Air Force was awarded $1.2 million to do an environmental assessment of the building.

That money will be made available to the United States Army Corps of Engineers by the end of March.

"We need $17.3 million more to complete the demolition. The funds have to come from the Air Force's operations budget," Schumer said.

Senator Schumer urges the Air Force to make the BAE demolition a priority and hopes it will make the more than $17 million available in its operations management budget for 2015.

"With the vision of the removal of BAE and our progress across the street. The Town of Union will have a vision for the future of rebuilding, putting properties back on the tax roles," Town of Union Supervisor (R) Rose Sotak said.

The environmental assessment could take up to six months to complete.

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