July 14, 2017

Two Maine defense projects clear key hurdle in U.S. Senate

Photo / Jim Neuger
Photo / Jim Neuger
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, which dates to 1820, employs a total of 6,329 civilians, including 5,430 at the shipyard and the balance elsewhere on the base. U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, reported Thursday that a $61.7 million project to consolidate nine facilities at the shipyard into one central location has cleared a key hurdle by being approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved almost $80 million in funding for two Maine defense projects, one located at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery and the other at the Army National Guard Readiness Center in Presque Isle.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who is a senior member on that committee, stated in a news release Thursday that funding for both projects was included in the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill at her request.

The $61.7 million project at the Kittery shipyard would consolidate nine facilities currently dispersed over 111 acres into a central location and achieve savings at the shipyard. In May, Collins sent a letter to the leaders of the Appropriations Committee requesting that they include that amount in order for the construction of the new facility at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to proceed.

"This infrastructure project will enable Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to significantly increase efficiency at the shipyard, providing valuable support to the highly-skilled employees as they work to repair and modernize Navy submarines," Collins said.

Funding for National Guard Readiness Center in Presque Isle

Collins also reported that the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $17.5 million in funding for the Army National Guard Readiness Center in Presque Isle.

The funding would be used to construct an energy efficient, 43,400-square-foot training facility, replacing an existing building that does not meet current standards.

"I am pleased that the Appropriations Subcommittee approved the funding I advocated for to construct a much-needed Army National Guard Readiness Center in Presque Isle," Collins said. "A new center is essential for the 185th Engineer Support Company of the Maine National Guard to maintain its recruiting efforts as well as the readiness levels we ask of them to provide security for our nation."

The Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill will now be considered by the full Senate.


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