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Sat., Mar. 28
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Fort Drum generates $1.4 billion in economic activity; slight decrease from previous year

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FORT DRUM — The post remains an economic driving force for the region, though its impact has decreased for the second year in a row.

Numbers revealed by the post showed it had an economic value of nearly $1.42 billion in 2013 — a 1.7 percent drop from $1.44 billion in 2012 and down 13.2 percent from $1.63 billion in 2011.

The figures represent a combination of economic activity spurred by the post but, most important, soldiers’ and civilian workers’ payroll.

The post is the largest employer in the north country, with 19,024 soldiers and 4,544 civilian workers with annual payrolls of $966 million and $206 million, respectively. The post’s population, as of Sept. 30, also included 19,151 family members of soldiers.

The economic data also include factors such contracts awarded for work on post and aid for area schools.

More than $125 million in contracts was awarded in the vicinity, with multiple local businesses and agencies supported by the federal funding.

Area school districts received $48.61 million in federal impact aid for accommodating military-affiliated children. Of the $5.7 million in tuition assistance spent by about 3,000 soldiers for secondary education, $1,515,261 went to local colleges and to support educational contracts.

The post noted that since the 1988 fiscal year, Fort Drum has brought $19.8 billion into the local economy.

“There is no way to minimize that impact; it’s enormous,” said Donald C. Alexander, chief executive officer of the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency.

Col. Gary A. Rosenberg, the post’s garrison commander, said Fort Drum’s value is linked to its training opportunities and community support.

“The continued dedication of our civilian workforce, along with the patriotism of our surrounding communities, allows Fort Drum to be more than a training and deployment facility for the 10th Mountain Division, various Guard and Reserve Units and Joint Operations,” he said in a statement. “It is our home.”

The area continues to have a large contingent of military veterans, with 2,615 retirees residing in the region with $52,260,000 in annual retirement income. The number of retirees has increased by 5 percent from the 2,476 retirees reported in the 2012 fiscal year.

The annual impact of Fort Drum-related spending on Northern New York’s economy for the past several fiscal years:
• 2013: $1,416,969,521 n 2012: $1,441,992,825 n 2011: $1,633,341,987 n 2010: $1,505,857,420 n 2009: $1,502,834,542 n 2008: $1,682,987,413 n 2007: $1,463,781,777
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