Military Bases

Case Studies on Selected Bases Closed in 1988 and 1991 Gao ID: NSIAD-95-139 August 15, 1995

As part of an earlier review of 37 bases closed by the first two base realignment and closure rounds, GAO reported in late 1994 (GAO/NSIAD-95-3) on expected revenues from land sales, resources requested from the federal government, and issues delaying reuse planning. GAO collected more information on reuse planning and implementation at the 37 bases. This report provides updated summaries on the planned disposal and reuse of properties, successful conversions, problems that delay planning and implementation, and assistance provided to communities. GAO also profiles each of the 37 installations.

GAO found that: (1) under current plans, over half the land will be retained by the federal government because it: (a) is contaminated with unexploded ordinance; (b) has been retained by decisions made by the base realignment and closure commissions or by legislation; and (c) is needed by federal agencies; (2) most of the remaining land will be requested by local reuse authorities under various public benefit transfer authorities or the new economic development conveyance authority; (3) little land will be available for negotiated sale to state and local jurisdictions or for sale to the general public; (4) reuse efforts by numerous communities are yielding successful results; (5) hundreds of jobs are being created at some bases that more than offset the loss in civilian jobs from closures, new educational institutions are being established in former military facilities, and wildlife habitats are being created that meet wildlife preservation goals while reducing the Department of Defense's (DOD) environmental cleanup costs; (6) some communities are experiencing delays in reuse planning and implementation; (7) causes of delays include failure within the local communities to agree on reuse issues, development of reuse plans with unrealistic expectations, and environmental cleanup requirements; (8) the federal government has made available over $350 million in direct financial assistance to communities; (9) DOD's Office of Economic Assistance has provided reuse planning grants, the Department of Labor has provided job training grants, and the Federal Aviation Administration has awarded airport planning and implementation grants; and (10) grants from the Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration are assisting communities in rebuilding or upgrading base facilities and utilities and are helping communities set up revolving loan funds that can be used to attract businesses to closed bases.

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