R 313
2002-H 8239
Enacted 06/04/2002

H  O  U  S  E       R  E  S  O  L  U  T  I  O  N



Introduced By: Representatives Henseler, Watson, Benson, Carter, and George


Date Introduced: June 04, 2002

WHEREAS, The USS Saratoga Museum Foundation, Inc., a Rhode Island nonprofit corporation, has worked for four years to relocate the aircraft carrier Saratoga to Quonset Point as a museum, memorial, education center and family attraction, and is now engaged in a fundraising drive to raise $8.5 million to be used for relocation and mooring of the vessel and development of this attraction; and

WHEREAS, The USS Saratoga museum project has the potential to become a self-sufficient economic engine, creating jobs and generating a major economic impact in our community and statewide; and

WHEREAS, The USS Saratoga Museum Foundation, Inc. has recently acquired a former Russian submarine, which has already begun generating positive economic impact and which adds substantially to the balance sheet of the Foundation; and

WHEREAS, The Wall Street Journal, through a front page feature article on May 24, 2002 has recognized the submarine's potential to unite with Saratoga, her former adversary, for a peaceful and educational purpose, generating tourism and positive economic impact; and

WHEREAS, The project intends to become a major educational resource for the state and the region, including a vocational school and other business development programs to create jobs, train workers and make the rest of the park more attractive for industry; and

WHEREAS, This project is supported by a wide range of ideological and political interests, to include elected officials, labor unions, educators, environmentalists and business groups; and

WHEREAS, The U.S. Navy has placed the USS Saratoga in Donation Status, and has designated the USS Saratoga Museum Foundation, Inc. as the sole eligible recipient for the ship; and

WHEREAS, For forty years Quonset Point was recognized and is remembered as the center of naval and carrier aviation in the northeast; and

WHEREAS, There are 120,000 military veterans living in Rhode Island, many who served in the Navy and Marines aboard carriers; and

WHEREAS, The Saratoga Museum will honor those and all veterans and their families, especially the 65,000 who served aboard the Saratoga and her World War II predecessor, as well as the many thousands who trained and worked at Quonset/Davisville; and

WHEREAS, Resolutions of support for this project have been previously passed by both houses of the Rhode Island General Assembly, as well as fourteen City and Town Councils from across the State; and

WHEREAS, The Saratoga project can be complementary to other ongoing and planned development at the Quonset/Davisville Commerce Park; now therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations views with concern the recent refusal of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation board to extend the conditional access agreement for the USS Saratoga project at Quonset Point, thus negating a potential economic stimulus opportunity and educational asset for Rhode Island; and be it further

RESOLVED, That it would be in the State's best interest to continue to endorse and nurture a project that promises so many benefits to its citizens, is supported by the local communities, and is compatible with responsible development of Narragansett Bay; and be it further

RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives restates and reconfirms its strong support of the concept of the Air, Land & Sea Heritage and Technology Park as originally expressed in its March, 2000 Resolution, and also strongly supports the fund-raising effort now under way for the USS Saratoga project; and be it further

RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives urges all interested parties, including, but not limited to, the Governor, the Economic Development Corporation, various chambers of commerce, tourism development entities, the business community and the residents of this State, to come together in a cooperative effort to overcome all bureaucratic and technical obstacles, and raise the funding necessary to move forward with this worthwhile endeavor; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the Governor and the Director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation.

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