How will Army cuts affect the Chattahoochee communities? - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

How will Army cuts affect the Chattahoochee communities?

FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM) -

National military cuts are projected to have a tremendous impact on the Chattahoochee Valley.

The U.S. Army announced that by 2017 it will downsize by 40,000 jobs, and Fort Benning is reported to lose about 3,400 soldiers.

The Chamber of Commerce is working other local organizations to gain support to fight these cuts. Along with a meeting at Chamber on Monday at 1:45 p.m., 
they have put together an entire media press kit to build awareness, including a Television PSA.

Brian Anderson, President of the Chamber of Commerce projects that the local economy will take a $2 - $3 million hit. GrowBenning.com was created to help fight these cuts. The site includes a petition and he tells us it is important that people locally log online to sign it.

"Sign the petition so that our elected officials know that we've got their back in fighting for Fort Benning but more importantly just fighting for our nation," Anderson said. "With sequestration, we all understand the fiscal situation of our nation but cutting our Military and our full defense of our nation may not be the best approach given that we are not as secure as people think we are."

Congressman Sanford Bishop tells us he is doing all he can to repeal and renegotiate the Budget Control Act. 

"I am disappointed that... These actions have been made necessary," Bishop said. "I don’t believe that our national security should be held hostage by sequestration.”

From restaurants and taxi cab businesses to specialty stores like Ranger Joe's, local entrepreneurs and business owners say that they too will take a hit, but there's nothing much they can do except get ready for it.

Kola Ogunkoya owner of Eagle and Warrior Cab Company says 75 percent of his customers are from Fort Benning. He is concerned what will happen to his business once these changes take effect.

On the other hand, Rick Weik, President of Ranger Joe's says this isn't the first time that Fort Benning has had cuts. Although they hate to see the soldiers go, they are doing all they can to prepare for the cut back.

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