2005 CPEO Installation Reuse Forum Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 13 May 2005 12:30:07 -0000
Reply: cpeo-irf
Subject: Re: [CPEO-IRF] Hill briefing on BRAC
The following response was submitted by Bryan Barnhouse of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA):

The article that Lenny referenced appeared in the May 12 edition of The Hill, the newspaper for and about the US Congress. In it, the author referenced an ICMA and VA-Tech Metropolitan Institute co-sponsored base reuse briefing before the Livable Communities Task Force as convened by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) on Capitol Hill, May 10th. The article did a great job capturing remarks from Aimee Houghton, CPEO, concerning environmental contamination and Defense Department liability and those of David Limardi, city manager of Highland Park, IL, and ICMA member and vice president, concerning the challenges the city faced with the Army's BRAC disposal process.

However, it neglected to reference a number of successful base reuse strategies, techniques, and conditions mentioned by all three briefing panelists, including those of Greg Morrell, Lennar-LNR. For instance, the private sector view that workable zoning plans serve as a key contributor to military property redevelopment. Ms. Houghton cited how restoration advisory boards (RABs) that work closely with the local redevelopment authorities (LRAs), and engage citizens and long-term stakeholders on environmental cleanup can be effective. Mr. Limardi, offering the municipal perspective, advised congressional staff on how important it is for local jurisdictions to acquire expert advisors and facilitate open communication between residents, the military, and the city.

Additionally, all the panelists identified ways in which Congress could help improve the base reuse process. The recommendations included support for Congress to encourage the military services to conduct more comprehensive environmental baseline surveys (EBSs) the first time around. The private sector would like Congress to appropriate more funding to the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) for planning assistance grants. Last, but not least, Congress has the ability to establish single points of contact who can translate BRAC statutes, rules, and regulations, which should include a clear and well-defined property disposal process, for local communities.

An article with full details of the base reuse briefing and experiences and suggestions from the panelists is forthcoming.

Bryan J. Barnhouse
International City/County Management Association (ICMA)
Military Programs - Base Reuse Consortium
777 North Capitol Street, NE, Suite 500
Washington, D.C. 20002
Office (202) 962-3613
Fax (202) 962-3605

Lenny Siegel wrote:
[One of the most interesting lessons from the briefing described below is that representatives of the private sector, local government, and public stakeholders have reached essentially the same conclusions from previous base closure rounds. - LS]

Cleanup considered key to reuse of shuttered bases

By Roxana Tiron
The Hill (DC)
May 12, 2005

The highly anticipated Defense Department base realignment and closure (BRAC) list, expected to be released tomorrow, will yield winners and losers.

But the losers might not be so bad off.

Many states and lawmakers fear an economic blow as the Pentagon plans to close, scale down or realign some of its 425 major domestic bases to save billions of dollars a year. While that fear can be valid, the situation is "far from being the absolute death for these communities," said Chris Hellman, an analyst at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in Washington.


Some members of Congress are gearing up to use the BRAC 2005 round to draw attention to the necessity for environmental cleanup, a showstopper in several communities affected by previous base closures. If this BRAC batch is approached properly, "it could help a number of communities," said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.).


For the entire article, see

Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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