Five defense communities in North Carolina have joined forces to pursue $1 million from Gov. Pat McCrory (R) to support their efforts to combat encroachment, invest in regional infrastructure and form partnerships with neighboring installations.
Havelock Mayor Will Lewis spearheaded the collaboration, which includes Jacksonville, home to Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River; Goldsboro, home to Seymour Johnson AFB; Fayetteville, home to Fort Bragg/Pope Field; and Elizabeth City, home to the U.S. Coast Guard.
“Every municipality that is next to an installation has things that they spend money on to support the citizens on that installation that we don’t really get a tax base from,” Lewis told Havelock News. “We’d do it no matter what, but it would be nice if the state would recognize that and participate with us to make sure we’re doing what we need to around the installations,” he said.
If the state provides the funding, Havelock may spend its share to purchase properties surrounding MCAS Cherry Point.
With state support, communities could find more ways to support the military. Lewis pointed to the role Fayetteville recently assumed to maintain the Special Forces Museum because Fort Bragg could not afford to keep the facility open.
“Fayetteville went through the process and now has the contract, and as a city they can get it done at a much lower cost than the federal government can get it done, and now the museum can stay open,” he said. “Those are the kinds of partnerships that cost all of our municipalities money, real tax dollars, but we do it because we believe in it and we just want the state to participate with us,” the mayor stated.