December 16, 2003

What's up at NYSEG?

The building I refer to as "NYSEG headquarters" looms everytime I drive home along Route 13. It's an enormous complex, and dominates the overlapping area of Routes 13 and 366. The "Utility Headquarters" sign indicates a left turn lane just for it, and it has multiple entrances and exits into this intersection area.

It seems to be less and less a headquarters, though. I can find a 1993 document which describes NYSEG as "a New York corporation with its headquarters in Dryden, New York", but then I find things like "The headquarters of RGS Energy, RG & E, and NYSEG will be in Rochester. Operating headquarters for NYSEG will remain in Binghamton."

There's a June 5, 2003 Ithaca Journal story wondering what to do with the building. I can't find it in the Journal's archives through Google, but the Public Utility Law Project has a copy. In it, we find:

Company employees and government officials have known for months that Energy East, NYSEG's parent company, was moving much of its New York corporate operations to a facility north of Portland, Maine. On May 23, an intra-office memo said that the first job announcements would be made in July.
The jobs of approximately 230 union workers won't be affected by the move, the memo said. But there's still no word from the company how many of the remaining 170 non-union employees would be relocated or laid off.
Officially, NYSEG and Energy East has declined to comment on details of its move, other than to say consolidating its accounting, finance and treasury operations with its information technology department in New Gloucester, Maine, stands to save the corporation millions of dollars.

Or, as Michael Lane put it:

Mr. Lane said according to recent reports in the media, Energy East continues its economic ravishment of Tompkins County. He said there have been several attempts to contact Energy East and NYSEG about their plans for their facility and jobs in Tompkins County. He said Mr. Joseph, Chair, wrote a letter to Energy East in an attempt to hold a meeting; however, Energy East was not willing to communicate on the matter. There have also been attempts by Tompkins County Area Development to hold a meeting which have also failed. Mr. Lane said yesterday Energy East announced it will be consolidating its operations and headquarters in Pine City, Maine which will place a lot of jobs in Tompkins County in jeopardy. Mr. Lane assured residents that although they have not been effective, there has a been a significant effort by Tompkins County to open negotiations with Energy East.

I've kept an eye open for further news on this, but haven't seen anything, and my searches haven't brought up much. The Journal article does include some hope for future development of the site:

As far as location goes, it's really dynamite," said Robert Lama, a commercial real estate broker in Ithaca.
"It's right on Route 13 at the north end of the Town of Ithaca, it's close to Cornell, it has a lot of possibilities," Lama said.

The Draft Comprehensive Plan doesn't talk at all about this situation. I'm not sure that it can address it directly, but as it's one of the more prominent buildings in Dryden, it might be worth contemplating. I hope that the NYSEG building doesn't turn into a remainder of dreams past, darkening the thoughts of those driving by like the old Ann Page plant has done in Horseheads.

If anyone knows more, please leave the latest in comments.

Posted by simon at December 16, 2003 8:42 AM in , ,
Note on photos