Sunday, February 27, 2011

The BRAC Billions

Fort Meade is inarguably the most significant economic engine for HoCo. According to this story by Elizabeth Janney in Elkridge Patch “it is difficult to picture the amount of money the fort brings to Maryland each year, because the number is so large: $18 billion.”

And that is before we take into account the additional growth coming to the fort as a result of BRAC and after five years of talking about it, BRAC has arrived. The first employees of the relocated Defense Information Systems Agency began moving into their new million square foot campus at Fort Meade in October. All 4,300 employees of the agency should be in place by September.

Helping HoCo to cope with this growth is Kent Menser, the HoCo BRAC Director. Until 1993 he was the garrison commander of Fort Meade when he retired from the military. On our podcast he shared his outlook on the transportation challenges associated with this growth. “We have a plan,” he told us.

We also asked Kate Essing, the general manager of The Mall to join us to discuss the newspaper story about the Malls alleged hostility to certain homeless people. She denied that the mall singles out any classification of people and insisted that the banning of an individual is behavior based.

That’s a tough call and I can easily understand that it is a nuanced approached that can sometimes be unfairly applied. On the other hand, the mall is private property. It depends on people feeling comfortable to shop and not being accosted.

Dave Bittner, our producer, also shared some great news with us this week. Each episode of the podcast now gets an average of 10,000 downloads. Thanks to all those who tune in.

You can listen to the 35th episode of “and then there’s that…” here.
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