An effort to determine what impact a troop reduction at Fort Riley would have on the area is underway. The first of several kickoff meetings was held Wednesday as part of a Regional Community Economic Impact Analysis.
Florida based Matrix Design Group, funded through a grant from the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment, is conducting a study.
Retired Air Force Col. Charlie Perham is the program manager of the Matrix team working on the Fort Riley project. He tells KSAL News that the project has two functions:
- To determine the impact a recent reduction of 2,093 base personnel has had on the area.
- To determine what impact a future reduction of 1,000, 2,000, or 3,000 personnel would have.
Items which could be impacted by troop losses include things like sales tax revenue, work force, school enrollment, and much more.
Perham cautioned that there is no indication that an impending reduction is coming. He says though that local officials need to be know what would happen if there is a reduction, and how to best deal with it.
In 2005 there were about 9,000 soldiers at Fort Riley. That number nearly doubled, to around 18,000, over the next couple of years. In the last couple of years, through, the Army reduced the number of personnel as part of a draw down. The last reduction was 615 personnel, bringing the army post to its current level of around 16,000.
Matrix will spend the next couple of months collecting data. They will be finished by November, and will deliver a report of their findings.