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Meehan Vows Support for Base Reuse

The Congressman said his first step would be to work to ensure transportation funding for the project, which could take 20 years to build out.

Following a tour of the shuttered Friday with local and state officials, Congressman Pat Meehan pledged his support for federal help in redeveloping the lion’s share of the 1,100-acre parcel.

Meehan (R-7), who will represent a large portion of Horsham – provided the congressional redistricting is not challenged as was the case with the redistricting maps for state representatives - told press gathered at  in Horsham that his hope is to “get a baseline on understanding exactly what is at play.” 

“My impression is what a remarkable opportunity for this region,” Meehan said, noting the benefits of the region’s transportation and other attributes. “How does that fit into the plans that are being made for our region?”

Even if Meehan does not end up representing Horsham, he said it “wouldn’t change our regional interest” in seeing the largely vacant land seeing a new life.

The Horsham Land Reuse Authority last week for 862 acres of the former base. The body is set to adopt the final plan at its March 21 meeting just in time for the March 31 deadline for the federal government.

Officials have said that to be successful in developing what amounts to roughly 8 percent of Horsham Township, a series of public and private partnerships are necessary.

“This whole process is going to have to be a cooperative process,” State Rep. Todd Stephens (R-151) of Horsham, said. “We’re going to all need to pull our weight.”

Meehan, a Cheltenham native, said he didn’t know, specifically, what, if any, federal grants might be available for the site’s redevelopment. The next step, he said, is to work with the state transportation authorities to “create the support network” to use state funds for various highway improvements.

Superintendent Curtis Griffin, who also serves on the HLRA board, said he hoped that the approximate $650,000 in federal impact aid currently paid to the district annually would continue until the base is able to be redeveloped. Officials have said it may take as long as two years for the federal government to approve the HLRA’s plan and carry out a necessary environmental impact statement.

“We are behind in being able to receive revenues that might be generated from the development of the base,” Griffin said. “I hope that would be considered.” 

Bill January 28, 2012 at 01:53 PM
All these politicians and their cronies need to go, they are involved only for themselves
Mike Shortall Sr January 28, 2012 at 06:31 PM
At least Rep. Meehan is showing an interest in a development issue critical to Horsham's future, distant though that might be. Allyson Schwartz hasn't shown her face around here since the Democrats were pushing Rendell's ill-fated plan to maintain the JRB as a state-run facility. All that accomplished was putting the HLRA three years behind schedule for meeting the Fed's requirement to come up with a redevelopment plan. Perhaps Rep Meehan has some muscle he can flex to force the Navy to do SOMETHING productive as to the preservation of the buildings on the base. As it stands now, the Navy simply drained the pipes and shut off the electricity, allowing those buildings to effectively decay ... for years ... again thanks to the failed Rendell initiative. If nothing is done, every single structure there will be WORTHLESS should they somehow potentially fit into any redevelopment plans. It's a complete waste of valuable facilities, not to mention the taxpayer dollars spent to put them there in the first place!
Bob March 05, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Too bad there couldn't been a government auction for parts of the base. There could be industrial manufacturing on the base instead of empty office space.

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