Willow Grove Military base to lose half its troops

    The state of Pennsylvania has given up on plans to turn the Willow Grove Naval Air Station near Philadelphia into a major defense hub. That means close to half of the military personel will leave the base.

    The state of Pennsylvania has given up on plans to turn the Willow Grove Naval Air Station near Philadelphia into a major defense hub. That means close to half of the military personel will leave the base.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091113tmbase.mp3]

    Governor Ed Rendell decided it would be too expensive without federal aid to convert Willow Grove into a a state-administered emergency and defense hub. Now about a thousand acres of the 1100 acre facility will be available for other uses. The base is in State Senator Stewart Greenleaf’s district. He says now that the state has changed its mind, using the land for commercial use will be easier.

    Greenleaf: Instead of having it almost all government use it’s now going to be mostly private use and also we will be able to offer them a deed, they will be able to own the land.

    Senator Greenleaf says attracting commercial businesses would create tax revenues that the military base couldn’t offer. But local business owners near the site are worried that they will suffer when half troops at the base get stationed elsewhere.

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