This is a good companion to this morning's post. Here is the Tuscaloosa News with the details:
Alabama’s National Guard plans to close armories across the state, including some in the Black Belt, citing smaller military forces, changing military needs and budget constraints.Just like at the national level, nobody wants to cut back on military spending because it will result in people losing their jobs, but sooner or later the money simply will not be there to continue to support this form of Military Keynesianism.
The National Guard announced Nov. 1 that it would close 13 armories, many of them aging and substandard. Some were built in the 1950s.
“We’re $12 million behind in maintenance, we have roofs leaking, commodes won’t flush, lights are flickering and they’re dangerous,” Maj. Gen. Perry Smith, Alabama’s adjutant general, said last week.
Smith announced in November that armories in Georgiana, Greenville, Grove Hill, Hartselle, Heflin, Linden, Lineville, Millport, Moulton, Ozark, Thomasville, Union Springs and Wetumpka would be closed.
The state’s military department said last week that it has already closed 11 of them, leaving only two on its list, the Linden and Hartselle armories, still open.
The Fort Hill McManus Boggs armory in Linden is scheduled to close before Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.
Smith said it’s not just the lack of money that is forcing the armories to close, but also changing recruiting and military needs.
Linden Mayor Mitzi Gates, however, is trying to convince state officials not to close the armory in her town, saying it is still fairly new and is in “great shape.”
She has the support of area legislators in her efforts.
“We’ve had a military presence since the 1950s and it’s part of the culture of our town, of course,” she said. She said the armory, with its 14 or 15 full-time employees, has an economic impact on Linden.
“It was puzzling to me why they would close it,” she said.
Bonus: Bill visits Alabama