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Schumer, Owens hear Fort Drum needs


FORT DRUM — At a joint appearance today, U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer and Rep. William L. Owens pledged to work together to support the Army post, including by trying to restore some of the approximately $30 million in funding Fort Drum is expected to lose for fiscal year 2010.

“We met both with civilian leaders, community leaders, as well as military leaders to get our homework — a list of things that we should do this year, both for the base itself and for the community,” Sen. Schumer said. He and Rep. Owens spoke with reporters following a tour of post and a briefing with its leadership.

Both men emphasized the importance of Fort Drum to the regional economy and identified affordable housing and increasing the number of health care providers in the area as priorities.

The Associated Press reported last week that military bases across the country are facing significant cuts in funding for non-war-fighting services. For Fort Drum, the proposed cut is 30 percent of its operating budget.

“Frankly, I was shocked when I heard about it,” Sen. Schumer said.

He said he hoped to recreate the close partnership he had with former Congressman and now Army Secretary John M. McHugh with Mr. Owens.

“I want to assure the community that it will be the same strong, cooperative partnership to help Fort Drum in every way that we can,” Mr. Schumer said.

See video of Mr. Schumer and Mr. Owens' visit:

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