Huntsville Officials Look for More Success in New BRAC Round
The Huntsville region has prospered in the two previous BRAC rounds and local officials view the possibility of another round as more of an opportunity than a reason for concern, reports the Huntsville Times.
While it’s still not clear if or when Congress will approve new base closure rounds, Joe Ritch, chairman of the Tennessee Valley BRAC Commission, told the Times that the region never stopped preparing for additional rounds.
“If it’s 2013, we’re ready to go. If it’s 2015, we’re ready to go. And if it’s 2013 and ’15, we’re ready to go,” he said. When Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced last month that the White House would request use of the BRAC authority, he did not specify whether the administration would ask for just one, or more, rounds, but it has been widely reported that the president will ask for rounds in 2013 and 2015.
Redstone Arsenal gained about 4,650 military and civilian positions following the recently concluded 2005 round. That round has forced the region to find money to invest in roads and schools, but area leaders believe they have plans in place to address those needs.
“We are so much further ahead than we were with the last two BRACs,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “We’ve got infrastructure in place, we’ve got road plans in place, we’ve got schools on the upswing.”