General Mills and ADM shouldn’t obstruct plans

Around 1934, Consolidated Aircraft Corp. started operations in Buffalo. CAC manufactured seaplanes and launched them from the waterfront. Business increased to the point where an additional launch ramp was deemed necessary. The company’s application to the City of Buffalo for the ramp was rejected due to the objections of the numerous grain millers operating at the time. The planes were too noisy. So Consolidated Aircraft picked up its operations and moved to California. It also became General Dynamics. Just think.

Now, Buffalo RiverWorks probably will not become a giant Fortune 500 company, but it is a start to reclaim a small part of our vast industrial wasteland with a unique idea for a waterfront entertainment complex with, more importantly, private monies. It also could easily spur additional development.

I fail to see how a couple of hundred cars a day, or even several thousand on special occasions, will adversely affect operations at General Mills and ADM. Legitimate concerns with respect to traffic should be able to be engineered away.

General Mills for years has offered protestations to rebuilding the Michigan Street Bridge, the outer harbor bridge or tunnel. It has even asked for acquisition of a portion of Michigan Street and threatened to relocate if the city did not capitulate.

It is time General Mills and ADM become good corporate citizens, not just selfish obstructionists. They should work collaboratively with all, for the betterment of themselves and the community in general.

Michael J. O’Connor