Bill Would Provide $15 Million to Attract Work for Hill Air Force Base

Bill Would Provide $15 Million to Attract Work for Hill Air Force Base

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A Senate committee has backed legislation that would provide up to $15 million to attract work for Hill Air Force Base.

The money would be provided through the state Department of Community and Economic Development to the Utah Defense Alliance, a nonprofit group working to save Hill and other Utah military installations from the next round of base closures in the Base Realignment and Closure process.

"When we're under a BRAC process, anything we can do to strengthen Hill Air Force Base will help us," said Tom Miner, director of Air Force programs for Logistic Specialist Inc., a consulting firm with UDA.

Miner retired as the top civilian executive at Hill and is now working on contracts that would bring jobs if capital investment money -- the $15 million -- is available to buy equipment currently unavailable at Hill.

Some of the money would also be used to train people for the technical jobs through partnerships with institutions such as Weber State University and the local applied technology colleges.

"These dollars will be recouped," said the bill's sponsor, Sen. Sheldon Killpack, R-Syracuse. "The potential of bringing an influx of opportunity, these dollars will bring jobs and these jobs will continue to bring money back to the state."

The money will be released to the UDA once a contract is ready to bring jobs into the state.

"This organization must show that contracts are basically waiting for approval," Killpack said. "Moneys won't be distributed to this organization saying, 'Hey, good luck.' "

The bill now moves to the full Senate for debate.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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