Defense cuts could impact area as city takes step toward growth

Published: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 06:18 PM.

The project would increase sewer capacity from 1.9 to 2.25 million gallons per day when completed sometime in 2014. 

DEFENSE CUTS

Still, the biggest impact the area may see in 2013 could come from Washington in the form of defense cuts that could have long-reaching implications on area residents. Fears abound that cuts could impact defense contractors as well as Fleet Readiness Center East workers and the Marines themselves. Concern continues over the future of the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter program, which is tied to the base’s long-term future.

The Allies for Cherry Point lobby group has completed a strategic plan and has been stressing the importance of the base to federal officials and legislators.

Also of concern is a potential windmill farm that could impact training for pilots not only at Cherry Point, but also at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro. Freeman said windmills would be considered an encroachment issue should any Base Realignment and Closure process take place.

"That will go against you because now you have hurt your training areas," Freeman said. "They are very much concerned about this location of tall structures in training areas that will affect the missions. If they do that and we’re a military-based economy, then that hurts us. That’s one issue that we’re going to address in this upcoming 2013."

Beyond the long-range future, many area families will be impacted as about 1,000 Marines with the 2nd Marine Air Wing (Forward) based at Cherry Point deploy to Afghanistan early in 2013.



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