Abilene to Apply for Grant to Upgrade Visitors Control Center at Dyess

first_imgThe Abilene Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee plans to apply for a $1.75 million grant from the Texas Military Preparedness Commission to upgrade the visitor control center at Dyess Air Force Base.On Tuesday the economic development agency for Abilene agreed to contribute $200,000 toward the application’s requirement for a local match. Those funds would be combined with $150,000 of in-kind contributions from the federal government to meet the 20 percent match, reported the Abilene Reporter-News.The city will apply for a second round of grants, totaling almost $16 million, the state will award on March 31. Last month, the Texas Military Preparedness Commission awarded $14.1 million to four communities for projects intended to support local installations. The Legislature allocated $30 million for the grant program for the fiscal 2016-2017 biennium.The project at Dyess is intended to improve security at the installation’s front gate by expanding the control center.“There are deficiencies at this control center,” said Bryan Yates, chamber vice president for military affairs. The new center already has been designed and could go ahead if Abilene secures funding, he said.The project should bolster the standing of Dyess in a future BRAC round, according to Yates.“It is the single largest employer in the area. If that base were to draw down or close altogether, it would be a significant negative impact to the Abilene economy,” he said. “Even though we have made great strides in the last 20 years in diversifying our economy, this is still an important component, and we want to make sure that stays there for the foreseeable future.” Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

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