N.C. On Guard For Future Base Closings
Posted December 28, 2003 6:29 a.m. EST
RALEIGH, N.C. — State and local governments are offering plenty of incentives in what may be one of the biggest economic-development pursuits in United States history.
The incentives are designed to keep existing military bases open in the face of Pentagon plans to close several installations.
With its six major bases, North Carolina has plenty to lose. The bases provide more than 100,000 uniformed personnel and 20,000 civilians. They have a combined economic impact of about $10 billion a year.
The legislature has committed $2 million to the fight. Local communities are pulling together hundreds of thousands more to hire consultants and draft regulations to shield bases from encroaching development.
The Pentagon plans to slash up to a quarter of its base capacity, with closings scheduled to be announced in 2005. The process began last week with the publication of the proposed criteria for deciding which bases to cut.