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Governor launches study of economic impact of base closures

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The state will launch a $500,000 study to evaluate the economic impact of its military bases, including Fort Drum.

“New York State’s military bases are a major economic driver for our state, and we must do all we can to keep them here,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Wednesday in a release announcing the study.

The study comes as budget constraints have led the military to consider two base closure rounds, with cuts projected to come in 2014 and 2017. The Defense Department also has proposed a cut of $487 billion in the 2012 fiscal year budget.

According to the release, the state’s military bases account for more than 10,000 direct jobs and $1.9 billion in economic impact.

An economic impact study on Fort Drum completed for the 2010 fiscal year calculated the post provided 4,826 civilian jobs, and projected an overall economic impact of $1,505,857,420. Of that figure, about $1.2 billion comes from soldier and civilian payroll.

“The real engine is about people,” said Carl A. McLaughlin, executive director of the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization. “That’s what the governor is going to find out when he does this.”

Fort Drum is home to 19,605 soldiers.

The statement on the new study included endorsements from several New York members of Congress, including Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y. and Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh.

Lt. Gov. Robert J. Duffy is in Washington this week to talk with Department of Defense, White House and state officials about protecting military installations around the state.

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