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No construction scheduled at Fort Drum in 2014

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FORT DRUM — The post does not plan to have any military construction taking place in 2014, according to plans revealed Thursday at a meeting of the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization.

Speaking at his first meeting since taking over as the post’s garrison commander in July, Col. Gary A. Rosenberg said the announcement was a signal of the progress that already has been made.

“This is not a bad news story,” Col. Rosenberg said. “This is the result of our success story.”

The post has about $14 million in projects scheduled for 2015 and 2016, but has no military construction now scheduled for 2017 and 2018.

Col. Rosenberg also updated the organization on the housing situation. The post has 19,024 assigned soldiers, with about 1,446 of them deployed. He said 2.1 percent of rental properties in the area were vacant, about 4,432 units. In June, organization members were told the area had a rental property vacancy rate of 0.69 percent. At both Thursday’s and June’s meeting, the area was listed as having a deficit of 1,035 housing units.

When asked by one member whether the post had been planning for potential sequestration, referring to billions of dollars in budget cuts scheduled for January, Col. Rosenberg said planning for the potential cuts was being discussed by officials higher up in the Department of Defense, and not locally.

Col. Rosenberg said the Interstate 781 connector project, also known as the Paul Cerjan Memorial Highway, will be completed in late October or early November.

Participants at the meeting gave a round of applause to departing administrative assistant Kathleen B. Mastellon, who with her husband, Kevin T., has served with the organization since the 1990s. Mrs. Mastellon’s replacement was identified as Nancy Datoush, who will take over the position Oct. 1.

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