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Neighboring Cities Hope To Incorporate Fort Bragg

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FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Divide and conquer is a military strategy that's now being applied to the state's largest military installation. Fort Bragg is looking at a change that could give thousands of people a new address without anyone having to move.

Fort Bragg is one of the largest military installations in the country. Fayetteville and Spring Lake want to incorporate the army post. Fayetteville would get 30,000 new residents, making it the 4th largest city in the state -- bigger than Winston-Salem or Durham. That could mean more money in taxes, fees, and business opportunities.

"We believe that might put us in a different category as people look for business opportunities, economic development, other ones," said Fayetteville Mayor Tony Chavonne. "We'll just be larger on the radar screen."

Spring Lake would get as many as 5,000 new citizens, as well as more income.

"It's the best thing since bubble gum," said Spring Lake Mayor Ethel Clark.

Fort Bragg officials also support the idea. The Pentagon wants them to save money by getting water and sewer services elsewhere. The base gets most of its drinking water from Lower Little River, and its water plant has seen better days.

"Our facilities have been aging for years," said Fort Bragg spokesman Tom McCollum. "They're over 80 years old, and the technology just isn't there."

Fort Bragg would still provide things like police and fire protection. So, soldiers who live on post wouldn't pay new taxes. That's one of the big reasons all three governments sum up the deal the same way.

"It's a win-win situation," said McCollum.


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