Hinesville received official word last month it will receive $24,379,000 in fifth brigade remediation funds from the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment. The Hinesville City Council submitted its formal request for the funding last June.
The DoD announced in June 2009 it would stop the growth of brigade combat teams at 45, instead of 48. Fort Stewart was slated to receive the 46th brigade combat team, bringing its number of brigades to five. A fifth brigade would have brought about 3,500 troops plus their families and additional military support personnel to the area.
Although the funding approval was not announced at a city council meeting held last week, a letter dated Sept. 29 from OEA director Patrick O’Brien was sent to Hinesville City Manager Billy Edwards informing the city of the funding approval. Edwards, along with a delegation of local officials, returned home from a trade trip to China on Sept. 29. A copy of the letter was included in the city council’s Oct. 7 meeting agenda book. The agenda can be found online at the city’s website, www.cityofhinesville.org.
The city initiated several projects in anticipation of a 5th brigade, including a water reclamation facility, a water booster pump and repairs to Frank Cochran Drive. These projects were included in the city’s application to OEA for remediation.
Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas told residents back in June that Hinesville was one of 16 governmental agencies eligible for funds. Thomas stressed then the city had incurred the greatest debt amount of those agencies. The city council voted in April to set aside 75 percent of its expected fifth brigade mitigation fund award to pay down the debt on its water reclamation facility.