RH3 Media Hearing Book - June 20, 2005 St Louis, MO Page: 73 of 81
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Commission, did not say when the visit would happen.
Commission members are visiting bases and plan to make their recommendations to President
Bush by Sept. 8.
Trends in the Region: Midwest Fights BRAC Cuts While Considering Site Reuse
The Bond Buyer
Carvlin, Elizabeth; Shields, Yvette
June 8, 2005
CHICAGO -- Midwest states are featured prominently on the Department of Defense's
recommendations for military base closings and realignments, and in coming months they will
make their pitches to retain threatened jobs in their communities. But for many, those pitches will
eventually have to give way to acceptance and working toward redevelopment of closed or
Some states in the region will be among the hardest hit if the list of closings stays unchanged.
Two states, South Dakota and North Dakota, will absorb about 51% of the loss of military
personnel and jobs of all of the domestic bases set for changes, said Mark Johnston, a spokesman
for South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds.
By the time the Pentagon recommended closing 33 major bases and realigning 29 others on May
13, Midwest state and local leaders had begun work on meeting what in some cases will be a
major challenge. The Base Realignment and Closure Commission began holding hearings to
refine the list and make its final recommendations in September. If President Bush signs on,
Congress would have 45 days to veto the plan with a majority vote from both houses, or allow it
That's a timeline that will be key for many communities as they look for options, said Patrick
O'Brien, director of the Defense Department's Office of Economic Adjustment. The fight must
come first, he said, but the track toward redevelopment must be taken in order to prepare
communities that will be looking for financing options in the future once a base is closed or
"There is some time here for them to do their homework, to get familiar with what the process is,"
O'Brien said of local communities. Once the fight is done, however, "a clock starts ticking."
If adopted, the current 2005 BRAC recommendations would eliminate 26,187 military and
civilian jobs, a figure which includes 13,503 at overseas bases, with as many as 189,565
servicemen and women moving from one base to another. Public finance officials have warned
that the cuts stand to have a broad impact, hurting the economies of some communities.
One of those communities surrounds the Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota. The base is
slated for closing, which would eliminate the state's second largest employer, excluding state
government and higher education. The economic impact would reach about $ 278 million a year,
Rounds' spokesman Johnston said. That's about 1% to 2% of the state's gross state product of
about $ 26 billion a year, he said.
"When you pull that out, it's pretty substantive," he said.
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United States. Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission. RH3 Media Hearing Book - June 20, 2005 St Louis, MO, legal document, November 4, 2005; (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc24404/m1/73/: accessed May 26, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.