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Maggie on Ren Square, “This is no fast ferry”

Monroe County Executive, Maggie BrooksIn a recent post I implored our readers to send Maggie Brooks an email and request that she listen to Mayor Duffy’s concerns about the Renaissance Square project. It took a while but I actually did receive a response from Ms. Brooks. There no big surprises in it. As expected she defends the project citing the federal dollars, potential new jobs, and the 11 years it’s taken the project to get off the ground (11 years and still counting). But there are a few points that seem rather curious to me—one of which is a “full return on investment [for taxpayers] within seven years. Sure sounds dreamy. Here’s Maggies full response…

Dear [RochesterSubway.com],

I appreciate the time you took to contact me and I also appreciate that you have been watching this project just as intently as I have been.

As you have read, the Renaissance Square Project is the largest public works project that this community has seen in a very long time. I strongly believe, as does Senator Schumer and many other business and community leaders that this project will help re-create our center city and enhance our community’s economic, educational, and cultural vitality. More importantly, Renaissance Square will create 3,740 new construction jobs with earnings of $135 million-dollars, and will support the much needed permanent jobs once it’s built.

  Make no mistake, this is no fast ferry.   This project will be sustainable and taxpayers will see a full return on this investment within seven years…unheard of for a project of this size.

Renaissance Square is funded almost entirely by federal and state project dollars and is something that has been over eleven years in the making. While I do acknowledge your displeasure with the project, I must insist that Renaissance Square has been thoroughly vetted and reviewed. Many of the points and ideas that you have suggested in your email have already been researched, studied, and debated. The developers and stakeholders of Renaissance Square, which includes the Mayor of Rochester, have decided that in order to ensure that we had a project that would create jobs and stimulate further economic development; it would be in the community’s interest that the money was spent to build this project right here in our community.

There is still an opportunity to bring retail to downtown and high-speed rail service to the area. However, those conversations are separate from the design and scope of Renaissance Square. There have been numerous public opportunities and forums for citizens to express their concerns and for project planners to address them. I do appreciate your candid thoughts about this project and I would submit to you that downtown Rochester and its center city will be a viable and thriving area once again.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

Maggie Brooks
Monroe County Executive

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This entry was posted on Sunday, July 5th, 2009 at 9:07 pm and is filed under Interviews, Opinion, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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