Friday, September 9, 2011

BRAC's Impact Upon Harford County

from the Harford County Dagger
Regional economic, political, and military leaders gathered Wednesday to mark the end of what they called a highly successful first chapter of Harford County’s Base Realignment and Closure experience.

Noticeably absent from the final BRAC “Town Hall” meeting at Aberdeen High School were local residents, who numbered less than 20 and were outnumbered more than two-to-one by the assembly of staffers and executives from a variety of economic organizations, military personnel from Aberdeen Proving Ground, and local elected officials.

A series of speakers from all three groups highlighted the smooth integration into APG of military organizations transferred from Ft. Monmouth, N.J. and elsewhere, but touched only lightly on the elephant in the room: ongoing traffic concerns which have begun clogging Route 40 and Route 22 at rush hour (not to mention Mountain Road, Rt 147!).

The last in a series of public meetings on the BRAC process came six days before the Sept. 15 deadline set by the Army for the move of thousands of jobs and several major commands to APG. Despite lingering transportation issues, the six-year-long process has been among the smoothest the Army has ever seen, Major General Nick Justice, APG senior installation commander, said Wednesday.

By the Numbers

A portion of the presentation given by Harford County Economic Development Director Jim Richardson follows, outlining many of the key statistics the county claimed BRAC has brought. Among them:

–APG will grow from a $3.5 billion installation to one totaling $20 billion;

–67 percent of the 8,300 employees affected by BRAC relocated with their jobs;

–60 percent of those moving with BRAC chose to reside in Harford County, according to a study conducted by one of the relocating organizations;

–APG is tied with Johns Hopkins University as the state’s third largest employer by number of employees, with approximately 25,000—only the University of Maryland system and Ft. Meade are larger;

–the average household income in Harford County has grown to $84,000 from $73,000.

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