Second round of BRAC preps coming

CUMBERLAND COUNTY The growth is all because of the Base Realignment and Closure plan, that will bring thousands of new soldiers and civilian workers start pouring in.

For the past eight years, community leaders have been planning for the arrival of two major Army commands headed to Fort Bragg.

On March 28 at the Crown Coliseum, the Greater Fayetteville Futures II preparation will be launched.

"You'll have the opportunity that morning to see how this community is about to change and where you can make a personal difference," Fayetteville Mayor Tony Chavonne said. "And we'll ask you to go over and sign up and get involved."

In two years, about 40,000 new soldiers and civilian employees are expected to move into neighborhoods surrounding the post. Currently, 80 percent of Fort Bragg soldiers live off post.

And the economic impact is being measured in the billions of dollars.

"Soldiers today have at least one car. Some have two. They have recreational vehicles," Deputy Garrison Commander LTC Joe Staton said. "They have money in their pockets and they have the opportunity to come out into the community and share that with the citizens of Fayetteville."

Military contractors are also expected to relocate to the Fayetteville area.

Fayetteville State Chancellor Dr. James Anderson says his university has a lot at stake.

"That's why we're trying to developing new programs," Anderson said. "We just had a program approved for Intelligence Studies. We're developing programs in Homeland Security, Forensic Analysis and capitalizing on the kind of expertise that these folks are bringing here."

Despite all the work that's been done in preparation, community leaders are amazed that many residents still aren't sure what the BRAC plan means to the community. They hope the launching of Greater Fayetteville Futures II on will bring the community up-to-date.

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