Sunday, January 20, 2019

Woodstock's military contractor expands

In December 2018, Woodstock's Ametek Rotron was awarded $604,000 of New York State regional economic development funding for an expansion of its facilities off Route 375. Now they'll need some zoning changes to go through with the expansion project, which will bring them the latest digital technology in their quest for the ever-more-perfect weapons component.

The Rotron facility has the distinction of being Woodstock's only Superfund site, after Rotron poured TCE  in the groundwater for decades -- the byproduct of earlier generations of Rotron ballistic missile, tank, fighter jet, rocket launcher and warship components. This Woodstock Times front page from 1995 reminds us of that era. The TCE is still there.

The local economy needs all the jobs it can get, including the ten that this expansion will allegedly provide. State development grants are a great idea and to be encouraged. But even as we support militarism with over half our Federal taxes, we find that some of our State taxes are also feeding the military-industrial complex. We should demand our taxes fund human needs instead. Studies indicate that funding human needs creates more jobs (per dollar spent) than funding military technology.

State policy could be nudging companies like Rotron to devote their know-how to peaceful ends and a green economy, rather than driving them even further into the arms [pun intended] of the military.

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