Newspaper clipping provided by Nancy Keefe Rhodes
Soldiers to Practice at Depot
Government to lease training space
by John Stith
The U.S. Army, which eight years ago pulled out of the former Seneca Army Depot in Romulus, is back. In the most recent proposal for new activity at the depot, the Army will bring in groups of 400 to 1,500 soldiers - roughly company-size to brigade-size units - to the depot two to six times a year for training.
Fort Drum, with 107,265 acres, uses about 50,000 acres for training and needed more space, said Col. John Penree, senior planning and operations officer at Fort Drum. Penree said the base is used not only by members of the 10th Mountain Division, based at Fort Drum, but also by National Guard units from across the Northeast."It gets very busy here in the summer," he said.
Penree said state officials contacted the Army in October 2004 about using the depot for training. Fort Drum officials and the Seneca County Economic Development Corp., which oversees redevelopment of the depot, are finalizing a lease agreement. County development officials did not respond to requests for comment.
An environmental assessment prepared by the Army calls for a five-year lease, renewable for five years, to use 3,000 acres of the 10,600-acre depot. The areas include the airfield, a large portion of the bunker area and warehouse space. Penree said there is no cost to the Army to lease the land, but the Army will share maintenance costs and will repair any damage caused by the training operations. Only wheeled vehicles will be used at the depot. No heavy equipment or tracked vehicles will be used, he said.