Pentagon gives Md. $4 million to plan for BRAC

The Baltimore Sun

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon has given the state another $4 million to help plan for the arrival of new residents coming with the expansion of Aberdeen Proving Ground, Fort Meade, the National Naval Medical Center and other military facilities in the state.

"[The Base Realignment and Closure process] will bring tremendous benefits to Maryland, but only with significant planning and new development," Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski said yesterday in a statement. "This funding will lay the groundwork essential to the implementation of the BRAC recommendations."

In July, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a $4 million grant to help the Maryland Department of Labor develop the work force in preparation for BRAC. The grant announced yesterday comes from the Pentagon's Office of Economic Adjustment to help communities plan for upgrades to roads, mass transit, housing and schools.

"While BRAC brings with it many opportunities for our state, we must ensure that we have the resources and infrastructure in place for a smooth implementation and adjustment," said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a Baltimore Democrat.

State officials estimate that BRAC will bring 45,000 to 60,000 jobs to Maryland in the next four years, an influx that they expect will contribute nearly $500 million annually in state and local taxes.

"BRAC is both a tremendous opportunity and an important challenge," said Rep. John Sarbanes, a Baltimore County Democrat. "We should seize this moment to do the type of ambitious regional planning and infrastructure improvements that benefit quality of life for Marylanders."

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