Land Expansion at Benning Raises Questions about the Cost of Growth
While BRAC is providing a significant population boost to the area surrounding Fort Benning, an unrelated proposal to add up to 82,800 acres in training lands to the western Georgia post is making many residents in its neighboring counties anxious.
Benning officials held four public meetings last week to collect input from residents that could be affected by one of the five alternatives the Army is considering to acquire maneuver space for the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team. The public’s principal concerns are the prospect of losing land that has been owned by their families for generations and reducing the tax base of rural counties, reported the Army’s Bayonet.
Businesses and workers that are benefiting from the growth should not summarily dismiss the complaints about noise, the loss of tax revenue and the possibility of being uprooted. “Such concerns are not trivial, and they do not make those affected by them unpatriotic,” according to an editorial in the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.