Maybe you can’t fight City Hall, but you can fight Uncle Sam. Quad Cities officials plan to battle a federal panel’s recommendation to move 17-hundred jobs from the Rock Island Arsenal to Michigan and Ohio. The Base Realignment and Closure Commission announced plans last month to close 33 major military bases and to realign the Arsenal and 28 other facilities.
Quad City Development Group president Thom Hart says they’re putting together a plan of attack to try and keep the jobs. Hart, a former Davenport mayor, says the recommendations don’t match the given criteria and that’s the case they’ll make, that there were substantial deviations from the criteria. Hart says information from the Pentagon doesn’t justify all the job cuts at the Arsenal.
Hart says “The cost savings aren’t there. They haven’t factored in a number of things they should and some of the data they do show on cost savings is just not there.”
Sam Skinner, a member of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission, visited the Arsenal yesterday (Wednesday). Skinner says it’s too early to guess what will happen to jobs on the island, but adds, there’s always hope. He says most of the panel’s recommendations are usually accepted but some, 15 to 25-percent, are modified by the Defense Department. Skinner called the Arsenal a “first-rate facility.” He says the Arsenal is “up and running, it’s attracting high-quality employees and is performing its mission very well.”
A BRAC hearing was scheduled for next week in St. Louis but it’s been postponed. No new date has been set. The panel will make its final recommendations in September.