Ft. Polk reduction would damage local economy - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Ft. Polk reduction would damage local economy

Posted: Updated:
 LEESVILLE, La. (KALB News Channel 5) -- Ft. Polk Progress says a reduction in troops at the post could mean disaster for business all around the state. Many people at Wednesday's meeting were business leaders who could be directly impacted.

Rupert White has made a living out of creating businesses in Leesville, such as car washes and storage centers, that are targeted to the troops at Ft. Polk. But, he says if the Army cuts the number of troops by 6,500, he and his employees could be out of work.

"On a scale of 1-10, at least a 7 for all things. A 10 for some," said White. "At least two of my businesses would cease ti exist if it wasn't for Ft. Polk. It would have a drastic financial impact on them."

But, that impact wouldn't stop there. The Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce says the entire local economy would be effected. 

"It would be devastating to the economy of Leesville, but also to Central Louisiana and to the state," said Deborah Randolph, president of the chamber. "Ft. Polk is the largest employer. But, certainly, the closer the community is, that's where the ripple starts. But, it would impact our areas, as well as, where the chamber serves."

England Airpark would take one of the hardest hits. The executive director says consumers could expect to see higher ticket prices and longer wait times, all stemming from a reduction at Ft. Polk.

"For all the general people in Central Louisiana that fly out of Alexandria International, they need to know that 25% of our traffic comes from Ft. Polk," said Jon Grafton, executive director of the England Airpark. "Losing these soldiers would mean losing flights, more expensive tickets, more inconvenience in our travel."

Ft. Polk Progress urges all residents, not just business owners, to write to the US Army to tell them not to cut troops at Ft. Polk. If you'd like to get in touch with the Army, you can email them at usarmy.jbsa.nepa@mail.mil 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • New meaning to "Labor Day" at the Zoo

    New meaning to "Labor Day" at the Zoo

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:50 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:50:30 GMT
    ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) -- Staff at the Alexandria Zoo are hard at work on Labor Day.The zoo is always open on the holiday. But, a couple of the exhibits need some extra care.That's because they're celebrating a different kind of "Labor Day" - the birth of several new baby animals.More >>
    ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) -- Staff at the Alexandria Zoo are hard at work on Labor Day.The zoo is always open on the holiday. But, a couple of the exhibits need some extra care.That's because they're celebrating a different kind of "Labor Day" - the birth of several new baby animals.More >>
  • U.S. carries out airstrikes against Isis in Northern Iraq

    U.S. carries out airstrikes against Isis in Northern Iraq

    Sunday, August 31 2014 10:14 PM EDT2014-09-01 02:14:05 GMT
    WASHINGTON D.C. (AP) - The U.S. military says it has carried out two more airstrikes against Islamic State fighters in northern Iraq.More >>
    WASHINGTON D.C. (AP) - The U.S. military says it has carried out two more airstrikes against Islamic State fighters in northern Iraq.
    More >>
  • Invest 99-L (Tropical Blog 9-1)

    Developing Tropical Wave over the Southern Gulf of Mexico

    Developing Tropical Wave over the Southern Gulf of Mexico

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:53 AM EDT2014-09-01 14:53:56 GMT
    Monday, September 19:47amIn the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, there is One area that we are watching for possible development during the next 48 hours.Invest 99-L (Tropical Wave)A Tropical disturbance over the Yucatan Peninsula Eastern Bay of Campeche is producinga lot of shower thunderstorm and is associated with a Tropical Wave. This system continues to show limited development as it moves over the warm water of the Southern GoM. Environmental conditions are favorable for develo...More >>
    Monday, September 19:47amIn the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, there is One area that we are watching for possible development during the next 48 hours.Invest 99-L (Tropical Wave)A Tropical disturbance over the Yucatan Peninsula Eastern Bay of Campeche is producinga lot of shower thunderstorm and is associated with a Tropical Wave. This system continues to show limited development as it moves over the warm water of the Southern GoM. Environmental conditions are favorable for develo...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KALB. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.