Thursday, July 26, 2007

Chamber weighs in on Pinon Canyon debate

The Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce is working to make its voice heard in the debate over expansion of the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site.

The Army’s intention to buy more than 400,000 acres of land in southeast Colorado has met with fierce opposition from ranchers who live near the training area. The House voted last month to stop the Army from spending money on the project.

In letters this week to senators Ken Salazar and Wayne Allard, the chamber urged passage of the Senate version of the 2008 Defense Military Construction Appropriations bill. The letters encourage Salazar and Allard to reject the amendment that the House added to its bill blocking funding for the study and assessment of the maneuver site expansion.

“The state’s military installations are critical to the vibrancy and well-being of our state’s economy, contributing approximately $2.8 billion annually,” the letters state. “Colorado’s military installations not only provide a tremendous number of jobs and revenue to our state, but also create an atmosphere that entices other companies to relocate to Colorado, including many small start-up businesses.”

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