Today’s news:

Cut to the Corps! Grimm bars fed money from funding move from Fort Hamilton

The Brooklyn Paper

The Army Corps of Engineers won’t leave the Fort Hamilton Army Base for an office in Manhattan — a big victory for Rep. Michael Grimm, who had inserted language into an appropriations bill that would have barred the Corps from using federal funds to move.

The Corps announcement came on Friday, after the House passed an energy and water appropriations bill — which included language inserted by Grimm (R–Bay Ridge) in early June that blocked the Corps from siphoning off some of its normal appropriation for relocation.

“We have had conversations with Rep. Grimm: We [no longer] have any plans to move our permanent staff off of Fort Hamilton,” said Corps spokesman Justin Ward.

The battle began in March, when the Corps said it was eying a spot in Lower Manhattan because only five of its 100 employees live in Bay Ridge.

But the proposal came under fire because taxpayers would pay the $1 million a year in rent for the glitzy new office, up from the $130,000 that the Corps pays at Fort Hamilton. Others worried that a Corps pullout would open the base up to development.

Grimm had vowed that “the flag will not be moved — not on my watch.” So he inserted language into the appropriations bill that really put the squeeze on the Corps plan:

“None of the funds in this Act may be used by the Corps of Engineers to relocate, or study the relocation of, any regional division headquarters of the Corps located at a military installation or any permanent employees of such headquarters,” the bill reads.

Inserting such language into appropriations bills is nothing unique, of course. The very same bill, for example, bars the government from shutting down its controversial Yucca Mountain nuclear depository construction project, though both Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) and President Obama want to curtail the effort.

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Paul A. from Bay Ridge/Ft. Hamilton says:
Fort Hamilton has been a integral part of southwestern Brooklyn especially the neighborhood of Bay Ridge/ Ft. Hamilton since before 1825. The mere presence of the army base has stopped the encroachment of private interests to turn the beautiful entrance to New York harbor into a mass of high-rise buildings. The historical sense of the area has been preserved. The first action against the British in 1776 occured on the grounds of the fort by a small battery firing on the HMS Asia as more than 25,000 Hession troops landed on the shore beneath the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. I understand that the new base commander wants to open the fort a bit more to the local people which is a wonderful idea. Thank you Rep. Grimm for having the foresight to prevent the Corps of Engineers from relocating to the city.....Only five employees live in the area Tsk, shame. The other ninety five....??? Take the subway!
July 17, 2011, 2:08 pm
Bay Ridger from Bay Ridge says:
Wow. Grimm actually took a break from his quest to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits and oppose taxes for the wealthy. I guess even idealogues take a day.
July 18, 2011, 11:52 am
al pankin from downtown says:
it's about time he did something right.
July 18, 2011, 4:15 pm
JMihal@aol.com from Bay Ridge says:
Thank you, thank you, thank you Rep. Grimm. This was an outrageous idea from the outset. The Army Corp of Engineers has been at Fort Hamilton, and is an integral part of the base. Moving to lower Manhattan, and paying an exhorbitant rent made no sense with government budget issues at a standstill. Why should the taxpayers be burdened with an additional expense to please the few who don't wish to commute like the rest of us.
July 19, 2011, 10:40 am

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