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Fort Drum’s economic impact measured at $1.4 billion in 2012

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FORT DRUM — The post was responsible for $1,441,992,825 in economic impact for the north country in fiscal year 2012, according to data released Monday morning.

The figure accounts for the presence of about 19,000 soldiers and 20,000 connected family members in the area.

Carl A. McLaughlin, executive director of the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization, called the figures a positive story of the post’s meaning for the community.

“You see all these advertisements about Fort Drum as an economic engine ... this economic statement repeats that over and over again,” he said.

The total was a reduction from the $1,633,341,987 generated in fiscal year 2011 and $1,505,857,420 in fiscal year 2010. The fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

Mr. McLaughlin speculated the reduction was connected to fewer construction projects undertaken on the post during the fiscal year after spikes in previous years.

The post said it was the largest employer for the region, with 19,024 soldiers and 4,544 civilian workers. The two groups had payrolls of $966,501,445 and $206,475,224 respectively for fiscal year 2012.

The post also calculated that the region had 2,476 veterans, who received $47,676,000 during the fiscal year.

Figures in the newly released study show that local school districts received $28,177,424 in federal impact aid for fiscal year 2012, up from $21,850,776 the previous year.

Another beneficiary of the post in fiscal year 2012 were local construction firms and contractors working on post. The post’s report said 234 companies in the area received contracts worth $20,459,649.

Local companies also benefited from housing development in communities around the post, said Donald C. Alexander, chief executive officer for the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency. He added that construction was on pace to close the approximately 1,035 residence gap often-cited for the local market.

The statement also presented a mixed economic forecast for future years, consistent with questions about future federal budget constraints.

Though about $137.5 million in military construction is planned for fiscal year 2013, including a Soldier Speciality Care Clinic, missile data terminal and expanded facilities for the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, no construction is planned for fiscal year 2014. Only $15.8 million is listed for fiscal years 2015 through 2019. The prospect of less construction was first presented at the FDRLO’s September meeting.

However, it predicted the post’s population will remain stable, and that employment and payroll should remain fairly consistent.

Since fiscal year 1988, the post said it had injected more than $18,345,535,016 into the local economy.

Col. Gary A. Rosenberg, the post’s garrison commander, said in an emailed statement that the post was aided by its training opportunities and family support services.

“However, the dedication of our civilian workforce and the patriotism of our surrounding communities allows Fort Drum to be more than a training and deployment facility — it is our home.”

The 2012 report can be found at www.drum.army.mil/SiteCollectionDocuments/FY12EIB.pdf.

Sstaff writers Ted Booker and Reena Singh contributed to this report.

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