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Military Affairs director says Collins 'got it wrong' on his museum stand

In his Nov. 29 column, "Build a Bridge without the Coast Guard" museum?," David Collins got it wrong when he described me as “generally supportive of the build-the-bridge-first effort.”

I’m willing to listen to ideas, but listening to an idea is not the same as supporting or advocating for that idea. There has never been one moment of one day when I advocated releasing state funding for the pedestrian bridge without assurance that the museum is fully designed, permitted and properly financed. I was at the table when these terms were negotiated. Nothing has changed.

David may have overlooked something else provided in response to his FOI request, when on Aug. 27 I wrote, “People in New London always talk about why things can't be better in our downtown? It can be! It will be! There will be several shoreline changes on the waterfront in New London as we prepare for the National Coast Guard Museum. We'll install new bulkheads and restore land lost during the 1938 hurricane. We'll make new berths for the Cross Sound Ferry. We'll improve moorings for the USCGC Eagle to be a prominent feature of the New London waterfront. CSF, AMTRAK and the City of New London, and the thousands of tourists who will come here, will all be in a better place after this process of preparing the waterfront for the arrival of the National Coast Guard Museum is complete.”

The downtown location provides the maximum benefits to the U.S. Coast Guard, the City of New London and patrons of the museum and transportation center. It provides the highest potential in economic impact for the city and downtown businesses.

Bob Ross is the executive director of the Connecticut Office of Military Affairs.

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