CANTON – St. Lawrence County Legislators say eliminating 16,000 jobs at Fort Drum would devastate the county and North Country at large.
At Monday meeting of the finance committee, legislators say a proposal to reduce the strength of the Army to as low as 420,000 would be detrimental to the region.
“This proposed action will reduce and realign active component soldiers and Army civilian employees to help the Army meet current and future national security and defense requirements,” the resolution said.
According to the resolution, an Army Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment studied the effects of cutting 16,000 jobs from Fort Drum, which includes 15,417 soldiers and 583 Army civilians.
“This SPEA looks at the socio-economic impact of this action and it predicts a loss of $877,512,000 in area income, a loss of 19,102 jobs, and a decrease in population of 40,288,” the resolution says. “Fort Drum and the surrounding communities have developed a unique relationship in regard to providing housing, education, health care, and infrastructure to support the installation.
Legislators say the proposed force reduction currently being reviewed by the Army would have a negative impact on jobs, education, health care, quality of life and the ability of local governments to provide essential services for its residents.”
The resolution goes on to ask the Army to reconsider cuts at Fort Drum. It was passed unanimously.