It's what brought people to Plattsburgh -- the old Air Force base, an iconic landmark then and now.
But a new chapter is beginning for some of the old base. The Town of Plattsburgh recently approved a plan allowing Paramount Enterprises International to store explosives in Clinton County.
According to Trevor Cole with the Town of Plattsburgh, the Pennsylvania-based company is one of the largest shippers of explosives internationally, and he says in April the company said it wants to use the old Air Force base.
"It makes sense to me they looked for a location similar where they don't have to construct these bunkers they already exist," he says. "Therefore, it's an appropriate use reuse of something that had already been utilized for that purpose."
The company plans to store explosives in Plattsburgh in part because of how close it is to the port in Montreal. Thirteen of the fifteen bunkers are being restored. The plan was approved earlier this week without opposition from area residents.
"What we expected is generally with a project that can seem contentious, that we might have heard a lot of negative public comment. But we really didn't get that which is surprising," Cole says. "These types of facilities are highly regulated by ATF, New York State Department of Labor, New York State building code, as well as local planning board conditions. With all those conditions met, I don't believe there'd be a safety concern."
According to Cole, there's been a lot of review in deciding if this is the right fit for storing explosives.
"Those facilities may not be used for many other uses. They were designed for the storage of military weapons. Now the reuse of them for TNT and explosives of a similar kind seems to be appropriate reuse of them," he says.
With just a few last-minute changes, an opportunity arises to bring a purpose to the old Air Force base once again in the North Country.
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