A piece of the action
City wooing workers, families who will be moving to Redstone
Leada Gore, Hartselle Enquirer
Earlier this year, people all over North Alabama held their collective breaths waiting to see what effect the federal Base Realignment Closure Commission would have on Redstone Arsenal.
Now, as officials breath a sigh of relief – coupled with some shouts of joy over the news of seven new commands moving to the Arsenal – cities throughout North Alabama are lining up to attract the thousands of people who will be moving to the area in the next five to seven years. Hartselle officials are hoping to be at the front of the line, or at least close enough to attract a few hundred new residents.
"We're all going after the same thing – the folks who are going to work there," said Susan Hines, president of the Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce. "Because of our proximity and our quality of life, we think we're in a great spot."
The commute to Redstone from Hartselle is about 30 minutes and city officials are banking on the draws of small town life for those headed to North Alabama.
Information about Hartselle, including links to the city and chamber sites, are included on the official Tennessee Valley BRAC website, www.tvbrac.org. Hines said the city has also filled out a questionnaire that will be posted on the site to give those who are headed to the area more information on Hartselle.
The city also has a BRAC Committee, comprised of Mayor Dwight Tankersley and representatives from banking, real estate and development fields.
Five other counties – Jackson, Marshall, Madison, Limestone and Lincoln, Tenn. – are also targeting new Redstone employees.
The prize is big.
As many as 4,700 new employees will be stationed at Redstone. Additional jobs will be offered through contractors and other businesses moving here because of the realignment.
The Arsenal now employs 14,500 people. It is Madison County's top employer.
Seven different commands will be moving to Redstone: U.S. Army Material Command, U.S. Army Security Assistance Command; U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command; Missile Defense Agency; U.S. Army Aviation Technical Test Center; Rotary Wing Air Platform; Research, Development, Acquisition, Test and Evaluation; and U.S. Army's Second Recruiting Brigade.
The Arsenal will also be home to a four star general, two three star generals and three two star generals.
The realignment will bring some $400 million in construction projects to the Arsenal.
Hines said the chamber is waiting on specific demographics on the average age, income and other details of those who will be coming to Redstone.
Army officials said they aim to have moves finished by 2010.