Mon., June 6, 2011 1:47pm (EDT)

Fort Benning Holds Public Meetings For Expansion Plan
By Edgar Treiguts
Updated: 3 years ago

ATLANTA   —  
Fort Benning wants to buy an 82,000 acre tract of land for expansion.  Public meetings on the proposal are this week. (photo courtesy Fort Benning)
Fort Benning wants to buy an 82,000 acre tract of land for expansion. Public meetings on the proposal are this week. (photo courtesy Fort Benning)
The first in a series of public meetings about Fort Benning’s expansion plan is being held Monday afternoon in the west Georgia town of Richland. But some area leaders have a major concern about the proposal.

The Army is targeting an 82,000 acre tract of land in Stewart County. The base needs the additional space for soldier training.

But some public officials say if the land buy goes through, the county would get hit with a big loss of tax revenue.

Richland mayor Adolph McLendon says that hit would be about $1 million to the tax base.

“That’s too much...we can’t do it. We’re in the top-10 within the state of Georgia as far as poorest counties. Just to take all that and put all the burden...it’s a problem.”

McLendon says Fort Benning is aware of their concern. He wants other areas around the base to share the tax burden.

A spokeswoman with Fort Benning told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer that they expect to get many comments over the course of this week's public meetings, with subject matter officials on-site for questions.

Base officials are underway with a more specific review of economic and environmental impacts of the expansion plan. There are three other public meetings in the region this week. Those are scheduled for Seale, Al. Tuesday; Buena Vista, Ga. Wednesday; Waverly Hall, Ga. Thursday.