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I am excited about the opening of the new Buffalo Airport terminal, although it perplexes me that we have reduced the number of terminal gates in spite of the fact that we are trying to increase airport usage.

However, my biggest question is why the dilapidated former airport center, the old Westinghouse plant, is still standing.

This building on Genesee Street is an eyesore. It's a broken-down, deteriorating, rat-infested mess that should be leveled. It could be made into a parking lot, airplane hangars or even a grassy meadow. Anything would be an improvement.

Why have our city planners and politicians allowed this eyesore to remain? The land surrounding the building is full of weeds, all of the windows are broken and the brick structure is crumbling.

As I see it, we have a classic case of a slumlord. The owners should be cited with heavy fines until an appropriate and timely resolution is accomplished.

The operative word here is timely. The airport center has been vacant for approximately a decade. Obviously nobody wants to buy or rent this building, or it would have been occupied by now.

The owners must be heldaccountable so that proper utilization of this parcel of land can be accomplished. That would be a positive, progressive step that would benefit all of Western New York.

It is truly unfortunate that we had to put a parking lot directly in front of our beautiful newairport terminal, which nowobstructs the view of our new architectural jewel. This could have been avoided if proper utilization of the airport center had been implemented.

After all, what message are we sending visitors? Welcome to Buffalo, with our new state-of-the-art compact airport terminal, which has a junkyard immediately adjacent to it. Imagine what visitors must be thinking.

Candace Mutignani Depew

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