Watch video of our exchange today with one of the most powerful people in the nation
By John Anderson, 10/11/21
When U.S. Senator Charles “Chuck” Schumer visited Wellsville in the past, he may have had one person on his communications team with him.
As the Senate Majority Leader, he had advance security and communications team members as well secret service when he arrived at the David A. Howe Library.
The Wellsville Sun will have coverage on issues Schumer talked about (a $65 billion bill to improve the lack of high-speed internet to rural areas like Allegany County) and some words on the library.
The Wellsville Sun asked Schumer about the announcement last week of new jobs at the former Air Preheater (Ljungstrom/Arvos), the Wellsville Municipal Airport, the opt-out issue facing Wellsville with marijuana and he touched on the Buffalo Bills.
Wellsville Sun: Talk about the importance of the partnership between Alfred State College and Ljungstrom/Arvos.
Schumer: Two things, first, it’s a virtuous cycle. When we are training people for these jobs, it makes companies more want to come here and get the good paying jobs, and that encourages the students. They say, ‘Hey, if I go in this course, I can get a good-paying job and stay here, near my family, and where I was raised and where I want to stay.’ So it really matters on both ends, attracting the companies and attracting and keeping students here in the Southern Tier, both which are very important.
“The wind project is a win-win-win. The $86 million to support the Sunrise Wind Project in a win, win, win. It’s a win for our environment that New York is tapping into a great renewable resource of off-shore wind. It’s a win for Ljungstrom right here in Allegany County, which will manufacture key steel components for this project and most importantly, it’s a win for workers here in the Southern Tier and Western New York.”
Schumer said he helped secure $1.4 million to bring in instructors and to “train Alfred State students in welding skills for Ljungstrum here in Wellsville and at Alstom in Steuben County following their contract to build the Chicago Community Rail System. This is exactly what we are supposed to be doing.” He said there will be over 100 jobs in Wellsville and over 100 in Hornell.
Wellsville Sun: You mentioned flying in to the airport. Can you help get the funding so Wellsville could run occasional commercial flights so residents of the Southern Tier do not have to drive to Buffalo or Rochester. The Wellsville airport runway can handle all sized jets.
Schumer: It’s a great airport. The money to improve the airport I’ve been able to get for years and I’ve helped the Wellsville airport. You have to have enough traffic and a commercial flier that wants to go. We’re having trouble even with Jamestown, so it’s hard. but it’s something I certainly work on and look at.”
Wellsville Sun: You talked about broadband, what about wireless internet connections in Allegany County?
Schumer: “Wireless is a very important aspect. It was not part of this, but when I flew my little plane into the (Wellsville Municipal) airport and there wasn’t much service, that’s something we have to work on.”
Wellsville Sun: You supported famers with hemp farm legislation. Allegany County falls in the criteria for marijuana growing and distribution to help farmers. What is your feeling on municipalities with the opt-in, opt-out decision?
Schumer: “I passed the law that legalized hemp growing which has helped our famers. I am also for the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana. But I would leave it up to the local towns if they want to opt-out, that’s up to them.”
On the Buffalo Bills
After his press conference, Schumer also wanted to talk about the Buffalo Bills. He said he went to bed during the lightning delay at halftime and was delighted to wake up and see the Bills beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 38-20. The Chiefs have gone to the last two Super Bowls and defeated the Bills in the AFC championship game last year.
Schumer said going into the game, the Chiefs had the best offense.
“Kansas City has the best offense, Buffalo has the best defense and the best defense held last night. So, go Bills”