February 22, 2015 – Association of Defense Communities
While it’s still uncertain when the next round of base closures will be held, leaders in northern Alabama believe they have taken the necessary steps to ensure Redstone Arsenal is well positioned.
“We have been pretty aggressive in our efforts to get ready for BRAC so we see it both as a threat and an opportunity and we are trying to make sure that we have considered what opportunities there are and prepared ourselves to get ready,” Mike Ward, senior vice president for government and public affairs at the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce, told WAAY TV.
“A lot of that has to do frankly with developing the infrastructure — the schools, all the other systems that you need to have in place in order to make your community attractive so that when the Army is evaluating whether they want to consolidate in your community you are available, you’re ready,” he added.
Ward pointed to a project to widen a road traversing the Arsenal that was funded by the state and local governments as an example of what the region has been doing to prepare for the next base closure round. Another example is investing in local schools.
“You have seen tremendous investments in the quality of education and at the end of the day the quality of the education system that we have in this region is going to be a critical determining factor as to whether the military wants to consolidate here,” he said.
And as far as trying to gauge whether Congress will approve DOD’s request for a new BRAC round in 2017, Ward said there’s about a 25 percent chance lawmakers could give the green light during the current session since it’s a non-election year.
The information above is for general awareness only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment or the Department of Defense as a whole.