Study: Fort Drum Accounts For $420M In Indirect Spending

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Earlier this month, Fort Drum reported that it pumps about $1.4 billion dollars into the north country economy.

That's a lot of money, but a research group hired by the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization, also known as FDRLO, says the impact is far greater.

"The Fort Drum annual report they give out every year accounts for the direct spending in the economy. So that's payroll they pay out to employees in the military, what they pay to contractors, purchases in the local market," said David Zembiec, FDRLO treasurer.

But there is about $420 million of indirect spending Fort Drum did not account for.

A large part of that is due to soldiers and civilian workers who shop outside of Fort Drum.

Take Bradley's Military in Evans Mills for example.

Owners say the store literally could not exist if it was not for Fort Drum.

"Fort Drum constitutes about 90 percent of our business," said William McKinney of Bradley's Military.

And then there's employment.

Fort Drum is the largest employer in the north country with almost 22,000 military and civilian personnel employed on post.

However Fort Drum spending supported thousands of additional jobs in 2013.

"If you lost Fort Drum, if it were to disappear, there's another 6,500 people that don't work for Fort Drum that are out there that would lose their jobs and probably the bulk of those are in the healthcare industry," said Zembiec.

According to the FDRLO, Fort Drum spending also supports jobs in many other areas including retail and education.

Saturday, November 1, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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