Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush (R,C,I-Black River) and Maj. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend discuss the positive impact Fort Drum has on the state, among other issues.
Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush (R,C,I-Black River) today facilitated a meeting between key Assembly leadership and Maj. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, Commander of Ft. Drum. Discussions centered on the positive impact the base has on the state and how New York can support this economic generator.
There can be no doubt that Ft. Drum is an important part of the economic engine throughout Northern New York, and we as a state must support its mission as central to our national defense and as part of a larger strategy to support and create jobs upstate, said Blankenbush. There are many spin-off economic growth opportunities, as there are civilian employees and small businesses that receive work contracts to support Ft. Drum. I am pleased to have helped to facilitate this conversation with leadership in my conference and among other legislators. I thank the Major General for visiting the Capitol today.
Among their chief concerns are support for surrounding infrastructure, ensuring that spouses of soldiers can have their out-of-state professional licenses transfer to New York, and support for the Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) Program. ACUB allows for the purchase of land easements to protect the base from development encroachment and has the dual benefit of protecting agricultural and forested land.