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Rep. Bucshon Presents Prestigious Defense Community Award Recognizing Economic Creation after Base Closure 

The Association of Defense Communities has named the Newport Chemical Depot Reuse Authority the 2013 Base Redevelopment Project of the Year “for serving as a national model in assessing and addressing regional economic needs following installation realignment or closure.”

 The award was presented June 13 on Capitol Hill. Robert Rendaci, a member of the authority’s Board, accepted the award, which was presented by U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon.

 The ceremony was part of the Defense Communities National Summit hosted by ADC, the nation’s leading association representing U.S. communities and states with a significant military presence, and their partner organizations.

 “Newport Chemical Depot Reuse Authority has earned ADC’s 2013 Base Redevelopment Project of the Year Award for its successes in quickly recovering from closure, implementing a reuse plan that has led to Vermillion Rise Mega Park, poised to become an economic force in the region,” said ADC President Bob Murdock. “The LRA’s accomplishments will serve as a model among communities across the country for years to come.” 

 Reuse efforts at the former Newport Chemical Depot are well underway despite the three-year wait planning officials in west central Indiana were forced to endure until the destruction of the nerve agent VX stored there was completed in 2008.

 DOD did not give the community the green light to start planning for the facility’s redevelopment until later that year, but since then the local redevelopment authority has moved quickly to recover from the loss of 690 jobs and $40 million in annual purchasing after the facility closed. 

 The Newport Chemical Depot Reuse Authority’s initial success was the rapid transfer of property from the Army. In a little over a year after the depot was formally decommissioned in 2010, the authority obtained almost the entire 7,000-acre property. Working closely with the community, the LRA crafted a reuse plan balancing large-scale industrial and commercial uses, while retaining much of the surrounding natural environment. The plan calls for a near-50/50 split between natural and built areas, with abundant parkland, natural and open spaces, agriculture and forestry encircling areas designated for business and technology, conference and support facilities, and highway-oriented commercial development.

 In October 2011, the site was rechristened the Vermillion Rise Mega Park, and officials began marketing the property to prospective tenants. The LRA plans on taking advantage of the site’s outstanding geographic and human resources assets. The 11-square-mile area in the heart of America has operating utilities and an abundant water supply, and is located within a mile of a rail line and minutes from two major interstates. In addition, the project is close to several institutions of higher learning and can draw from a highly-skilled workforce.

 The Newport Chemical Depot Reuse Authority has put in place a reuse plan that along with its commitment to upgrading the property’s infrastructure provides Vermillion County excellent prospects for a rapid rebound from the loss of a cornerstone of the local economy.

The Association of Defense Communities (www.defensecommunities.org) is the nation’s leading association representing U.S. communities and states with a significant military presence and their partner organizations. It unites the diverse interests of communities, states, the private sector and the military on issues such as protecting defense infrastructure, community-military partnerships, defense real estate, mission growth, base redevelopment, and support for military families and veterans.

 Contact: Randy Ford, ADC, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 202.822.5256 x424 – OR - 

Susan Snider Turner, Vermillion Rise Mega Park, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 765-832-3870