June 5, 2013

Public hearing held on Laurentian bonds

PLATTSBURGH — A local building-trades official renewed the call for a Project Labor Agreement for the Laurentian Aerospace Corp. proposal.

About 20 members of local trade organizations attended a County of Clinton Industrial Development Agency public hearing Monday afternoon on reauthorization to offer tax-exempt bonds to Laurentian. It is simply part of the process to make sure the IDA can issue the bonds if buyers are secured.

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In June 2006, Laurentian announced plans to build a 273,000-square-foot, two-bay hangar for maintenance, repair and overhaul of wide-body jets at Plattsburgh International Airport. The project could result in 200 to 900 jobs, officials have said, but it has been stalled for years.

Recently, it was revived when developers signed an agreement with a leading Wall Street investment bank to work on securing financing for the more than $200 million project.


Plattsburgh-Saranac Lake Building and Construction Trades Council President John Donoghue said the organizations he represents are in favor of the project but want to be included in the workforce needed to build it.

“Our enthusiasm for this project hasn’t diminished one bit, either,” he said.

His concern is that Laurentian’s contractor, Maine-based Cianbro, would be unlikely to use local subcontractors that pay area-standard wages and benefits.

Donoghue said the best way to ensure that happens is to have a Project Labor Agreement, which sets employment conditions such as wages, benefits and more on a project.

Project Labor Agreements were successfully used on the Crown Point bridge project and Global Foundries project in Malta, Donoghue said. The agreements help ensure projects get done on time and under budget with a high degree of safety and quality, he said.


Laurentian Aerospace Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Andrew Edwards said Laurentian officials would push Cianbro to use a local workforce because it is the right thing to do and simply makes more economic sense.

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