(Havre de Grace, MD – October 16, 2008) – – More than 100 people, including citizens of Harford and Cecil Counties, representatives of the business community and local elected officials, turned out Wednesday evening to hear the latest information regarding Harford County’s preparations for BRAC. There are only 732 working days until the deadline for BRAC implementation at the Aberdeen Proving Ground.
The Harford County Office of Economic Development, under the direction of James Richardson, serves as the lead department for the county concerning BRAC and BRAC related issues, facilitated the event.
“We are very pleased at the progress Harford County is making towards the final implementation of BRAC,” stated County Executive David R. Craig. “Our team will continue to work together to ensure a smooth transition and readiness for BRAC,” Craig stated.
Among those providing an update to the town hall meeting attendees included, County Executive David R. Craig, James Richardson, Director of the Office of Economic Development, Colonel Jeffrey Weissman, Commander of the U.S. Army Garrison at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Dr. Jacqueline C. Haas, Superintendent of Schools for Harford County, Dr. James LaCalle, President of Harford Community College, L. Jesse Bane, Sheriff of Harford County, and Bob Cooper, Director of the Harford County Department of Public Works.
The meeting was hosted by Mayor Wayne Dougherty of the City of Havre de Grace who provided welcoming remarks. Tom Sadowski, Interim President of the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore also provided opening remarks and introduced the panel of presenters.
Among the highlights of the information presented, were the following:
? More than $96 million has been invested in public school construction
? $70 million has been invested in the Abingdon Water Plant expansion
? Secured two new school sites and expanded capacity at four other schools
? $400 million invested in the Waste-to-Energy Solid Waste Plant in southern Harford County.
? Working towards the establishment of a water authority which will help expand water service within the development envelope, as well as maintain quality and cost benefits to the consumer.
? An updated Zoning Code, the first comprehensive revision and update to the Zoning Code in 25 years, which will improve land use, and supports growth for office and technology development.
As a result of the federal BRAC law, the Aberdeen Proving Ground will receive thousands of new positions. Among the additions BRAC brings to APG will be the Army Team C4ISR, consisting of 7,000 positions from Fort Monmouth, Fort Belvoir, Virginia and the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. Additionally, approximately 400 positions will relocate to APG from various locations in the United States in support of Chemical/Biological Research and Development. Further, 600 positions assigned to the U. S. Army Test and Evaluation Command in Alexandria, Virginia will relocate to APG, as well as 30 positions from the Army Research Institute at Fort Knox, Kentucky and 70 positions from the U. S. Army Research Laboratory, Vehicle Technology Directorate from Langley, Virginia and Glenn, Ohio.
During FY 09, approximately 900 positions are projected to relocate to APG. This includes approximately 70% of people who currently fill these jobs, as well as another 30% of new hires.
The BRAC Town Hall meetings are part of the county executive’s “Open Government” initiative, sharing information with citizens and those interested in BRAC and the impact to Harford County and the region. The Havre de Grace BRAC Town Hall meeting can be viewed on the Harford County Government website. For more information regarding BRAC, visit www.harfordcountymd.gov or the Office of Economic Development website at www.harfordbusiness.org.