Dothan Commissioners Vote on BRAC Funding

Dothan city leaders are already preparing for the next round of BRAC, base realignment and closure. Tuesday, the city commission voted to help pay for consultants.

There was no opposition this morning when it came time to vote for the proposition.

They agreed to pay just more than $130,000 per year for the next three years to hire consultants.

These consultants will work for the Friends of Fort Rucker lobbying the Department of Army and the Department of Defense.

Ft. Rucker has a huge impact on the Wiregrass. It contributes 25,000 jobs and about $2 billion every year to the area.

Hiring these consultants could not only help retain these jobs, but possibly bring more.

In the 2005 BRAC, Fort Rucker was in line to gain 2,000 jobs, but they were pulled back at the last minute.
Fort Rucker did lose 400 jobs to Huntsville during that round.

The Friends of Fort Rucker is being more proactive this time.

"You cannot take a base realignment and closure when it's stood up by the federal government lightly. A base realignment and closure commission which is says right there, the key word is closure. If they were to close Fort Rucker, which that's not the case and we're not trying to scare the public, but if that was the case it would be devastating to the wiregrass area,” said Jeff Coleman, Friend of Fort Rucker board member.

Coleman says Huntsville spent $2 million during the last round of BRAC. The contributions from surrounding cities, Ozark, Daleville, Dothan, and Enterprise does put the Wiregrass at the lower end of spending for lobbying, but Coleman says it should keep the area competetive.

The next round of the US Department of Defense's base realignment and closure is scheduled for 2015.

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