BRAC plans for population increase

July 16, 2008 9:26:38 PM PDT
People living around Fort Bragg are getting their first look at the impact of thousands of people moving into the area.Moving something called Forces Command from Atlanta to Bragg will bring in more than a billion dollars. But, it's going to cost hundreds of millions to prepare for the influx.

Fayetteville and Cumberland County are expected to get the lion's share of people and growth over the next five years.

As the area around Fort Bragg aggressively promotes their community, some say fighting bad PR might be Fayetteville's toughest battle.

"We are going to experience growth, we are going to see an additional 27,000 plus people coming into Cumberland County, 35,000 to 40,000 coming into the region overall. We have to be prepared for that," said retired Air Force Col. Paul Dordal, who heads up the BRAC Regional Task Force.

He says communities have to start now. Find money for new roads, housing areas and schools, to attract military families.

Cumberland County is one of 11 counties around Fort Bragg that expect to benefit from the BRAC boom. The report also says crime will likely go up as well.

Around Fayetteville, that worries some army wives who say they are already on edge after the recent murders of two female soldiers.

"I am from Detroit, so I am used to city life, but I don't feel comfortable going out by myself," said Katie, an Army wife.

"We have been here almost five years and it's just getting worse and I am ready to move," added Jennifer, another Army wife.

However, Dordal doesn't think convincing people to move to the area will be a tough sell.

"We just have to give them the facts and show them all the changes that have occurred here over the past 10 to15 years in the area, and they will be taken care of when they are here, we have a safe community and a nice community to live in," he said.

Dordal says his committee will hold several more meetings around Fayetteville and the other 11 counties, getting input before they finalize the plan later this fall.


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