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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

State Combats Encroachment, Upgrades Infrastructure to Support Ellsworth

  • May 15, 2012
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The South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority is moving ahead with two projects to preserve Ellsworth Air Force Base and its tremendous economic impact in the western portion of the state.

Since the base narrowly averted closure in the last BRAC round, the authority has been purchasing properties surrounding the installation’s airfield to reduce encroachment, reported the Rapid City Journal. A low-income housing project now under construction will offer a new housing option for some of those residents.

Later this year, the authority will begin construction on a $19 million wastewater treatment plant that will serve the base and the neighboring city of Box Elder. The project is expected to save both millions of dollars, according to the story.

“This is about how an Air Force base, and a local community can work together in mutual interest and help solve some problems to make both of them prosper and both of them succeed,” said Col. Mark Weatherington, the base commander.

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