Advisory board considers future of G-RAMP

wcrenshaw@macon.comOctober 4, 2012 

WARNER ROBINS -- Department of Defense budget cuts could mean the original vision of the Georgia-Robins Aerospace Maintenance Partnership won’t be fulfilled, but city officials say it can still serve an important function for Robins Air Force Base.

In the first meeting of the G-RAMP advisory board in over a year, Warner Robins Mayor Chuck Shaheen updated the members on G-RAMP and the recently completed environmental assessment.

With uncertainties over Department of Defense spending, it’s difficult to pinpoint what may happen with the property the city owns on the north end of the base, but Shaheen said it will be used for Robins. An environmental study found 24 acres of property suitable for industrial purposes.

“Let me make it clear, the property will be used for national defense,” Shaheen said. “Everybody agrees with that.”

The original plan for G-RAMP was to establish a complex in which the aerospace industry could locate in support of the base and even have access to the runway. Cost estimates for that were as high as $72.5 million. However, Shaheen said the space could also be used for expansion of the base.

Warner Robins Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Gary Lee told the board the land could be important for Robins if, as expected, there is another Base Realignment and Closure Commission in the next three to five years.

“We don’t really know where we are going with this because of the way the economy is, but what we wanted to do is make sure we have the land available for whatever we need for the Air Force base.” Lee said. “We want to be able to make the argument that we have space.”

The environmental assessment is available for public review at the Centerville library branch. After 30 days, the public comments would go back to the base, and officials there would address any concerns before it is approved by the Air Force.

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