Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Private ownership of bomb factories: of the nuclear-type

Apparently the United States has taken into its head to competitively bid out Nuclear Weapons Facilities.  This off course leads to the odd combination of a local property developer and a Chicago based builder.
I am not sure if this is particularly apocalyptic in nature, but it seems like it ought to be.
Adam Weinstein, Mother Jones, 29 August 2011 (ht: NC)
The proposed plant, a 1.5 million-square-foot, $673 million behemoth, would replace an aging facility, also in KC, where 85 percent (PDF) of the components for nation's nuclear arms are produced. The new plant would be run by the same government contractor as the old one—Honeywell—and proponents say the only major change will be more jobs and city infrastructure. But there will be another big difference: The federal government will sublease the property from a private developer, who in turn will lease it from the city for 20 years…after which the developer will own it outright.
The developer that could ultimately own its very own nuclear weapons plant, Centerpoint Zimmer (CPZ), didn't even exist until the deal for the Kansas City facility. It's the product of a union between Zimmer Real Estate, a big swinger in local properties—"Their red signs are all over town," says Ann Suellentrop, a local anti-nuclear activist—and Chicago-based builder Centerpoint, which just happens to own a new 1,000-acre industrial park across the street from the planned production facility. In what it called a "competitive bidding process," the US General Services Administration awarded CPZ a contract to build the new plant—on a soybean field that the company already owned. The Kansas City Council, enticed by direct payments and a promise of "quality jobs," approved the deal and agreed to exempt CPZ from property taxes on the plant and surrounding land for 25 years. It also agreed to $815 million in bond subsidies to build the plant and needed infrastructure.
For myself, I think, so long as the moneys earned would go toward paying off the national debt, they should start competitively bidding out the office of Presidency.

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