By BERT COPIAE
I was astounded when I recently read in the OBSERVER that the Fredonia State University incubator had a new client whose product was some sort of fastener for shoelaces. That was the last straw for me concerning this massive waste of our taxpayer money.
It reminded me of a fable about the "Emperor's New Clothes" where only a child sees what's happening because no one else wants to appear to be stupid.
What's next for the incubator, a product for hair gel that glows in the dark?
Are we all that ignorant to continue to believe what the incubator people are telling us?
The building on Central Avenue in Dunkirk is virtually empty. There's no one in there.
Check the parking lot every day and you'll see very few vehicles there. What are the costs of utilities and salaries connected with this place? Has anyone mentioned the cost overruns with building that place?
If the college thought the process through, which has some minor merit to it, it should have built the incubator on the Fredonia campus where students would also have access to it, not on a main street in Dunkirk where some sort of commercial venture should be. Of course, with SUNY Fredonia's track record of construction, the building might not be finished yet.
The Fredonia alumni I have talked with have a deep dissatisfaction with this matter. It's a bad joke. They see it as a complete waste of taxpayer money with no feasible return in any form. They also believe the director of the place, if he was ever called to testify about statements he's made, might be found to be perjuring himself.
How can we utilize this building in a satisfactory manner? It might be difficult because of the different entities involved, SUNY Fredonia, the city of Dunkirk, Chautauqua County and the state.
With that said, here are a few suggestions on what could be done there to make it a more productive part of the community:
1. A police and fire department with some obvious modifications
2. A Social Services building
3. A medical facility
4. A senior service and youth groups location
5. Used as a conference and convention center as long as there is some monetary gratification rather than the same old duplicative acronyms meeting to try to get some grant money
We need to wise up. What's happening at the incubator is one of the most manipulative con games perpetrated on us with no logical, beneficial, economic or spiritual gain for anyone, with the exception of a few career bureaucrats and their sycophants.
Bert Copiae is a Fredonia resident.