Leader Blues

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

TOP STORY >> Air base is getting stimulus funding

By JOHN HOFHEIMER
Leader senior staff writer

None of the Defense Department’s $7.4 billion cut of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is slated for new military construction at Little Rock Air Force Base, but the base is in line for $12.7 million worth of facilities sustainment, restoration and modernization projects, according to Airman Vanessa Dale, a base spokesperson.

About $8.8 million of that is earmarked for repairing and maintaining the flight line — airfield apron, $3.4 million; Foxtrot taxiway, $3.3 million, and alert airfield parking ramp, $2.1 million, according to the list released by the Defense Department.

Other items include $856,000 to repair Hangar 224; $1,578,000 to repair or install two antiterrorism-vehicle barriers; $604,000 to repair Sixth Street/Arnold Drive; $431,000 to repair fire-detection system in the Razorback Inn and install or repair a sprinkler system for that building, and $409,000 to repair fire-detection system and install or repair the sprinkler in Lodging 1024.

The Pentagon will spend about $38 million on 52 projects in Arkansas for Army, National Guard and Army Reserve Programs, much of that at Camp Joseph T. Robinson. Those projects include energy management, such as renovating lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning in each of six barracks at a cost of about $1.5 million each.

Twelve projects are scheduled for the Pine Bluff Arsenal, including $21 million for steam-line replacement.

The Defense Department stimulus plan states that it will spend its funds as quickly as possible in the following categories:

– $4.2 billion in operation and maintenance accounts to improve, repair and modernize DoD facilities, including energy-related im-provements.

– $1.3 billion in military construction for hospitals.

– $240 million in military construction for child development centers.

– $100 million in military construction for warrior-transition complexes.

– $535 million for other military construction projects, such as housing for the troops and their families, energy conservation, and National Guard facilities.

– $300 million to develop energy-efficient technologies.

– $120 million for the Energy Conservation Investment Program (ECIP)

– $555 million for a temporary expansion of the Homeowner’s Assistance Program benefits for private home-sale losses of both DoD military and civilian personnel.

– $15 million for DoD inspector general oversight and audit of Recovery Act expenditures.

The $7.4 billion in defense-related appropriation accounts for less than 1 percent of the total $787 billion stimulus package signed on Feb. 17 by President Obama.

The Department intends to spend this funding with “unprecedented full transparency and accountability,” the Pentagon said.