FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWNY) - Depending on who you talk to, Fort Drum pumped either $1.4 billion or $1.8 billion into the local economy last year.
The $1.4 billion number comes directly from Fort Drum and represents direct economic impact for Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties.
The $1.8 billion comes from Advocate Drum – also known as the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization – which uses a formula that adds an estimate of the post’s indirect impact.
Both entities released their reports on the post’s impact on the local economy Tuesday. Fort Drum’s can be seen here. Advocate Drum’s is below.
Advocate Drum says their estimate includes Fort Drum’s direct spending, plus an estimated $408 million in indirect spending.
That indirect spending includes off-post jobs and business income as a result of the post’s direct spending.
The model Advocate Drum uses estimates Fort Drum-related spending adds more than 6,000 jobs to the regional economy, mostly in health care and social services, education, retail, food and accommodations, and wholesale trade.
That’s in addition to the nearly 19,000 military and civilian personnel the post employs. That makes Fort Drum the largest single-site employer in the state.
Fort Drum’s payroll – including military, civilian, contractors, and retirees – totals $1.2 billion. More than 30,000 soldiers and their family members live in the area.
Added together, the nearly 25,000 jobs supported directly and indirectly by Fort Drum account for 23 percent of the region’s wage earners.
Advocate Drum’s model estimates that around 23,500 of them lived in Jefferson County, nearly 1,000 in Lewis, close to 340 in St. Lawrence, and around 200 outside the tri-county area.
Because Fort Drum doesn’t have schools on post – the only post that doesn’t – area school districts received $41 million in federal impact aid.
“We are grateful for the strong partnerships we have with the school districts, local governments, medical facilities which provide first rate care to our soldiers and families, and the local police authorities who help create a safe environment for us,” said Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division Commander Maj. Gen. Brian Mennes.