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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on June 24th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 17 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 21, Issue 17

Lompoc, Vandenberg Air Force Base enter into grant partnership

By Zac Ezzone

With Vandenberg Air Force Base likely to experience an increase in staff and resources as the federal government establishes a U.S. Space Force, the city of Lompoc is looking into a grant program that could benefit both the city and the base.

Steven Greenberg with Bridge View Resources, a consultant working with the city on this effort, said the increase of satellite launches planned for the base will lead to the installation growing in other ways, including the development of a commercial area with manufacturing and warehouses. This will in turn have an impact on the city of Lompoc and its infrastructure, such as roads, utilities, and housing, he said.

Greenberg said the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) offers grant opportunities to cities located near military bases that helped fund improvements to city resources. 

During a Lompoc City Council meeting on June 16, Louis Littleton, a representative from OEA, said the department offers these grants so that cities can focus on infrastructure, while military bases focus on their purpose.

“We do this in pursuit of enhancing the readiness and preserving the mission of our military installations,” Littleton said.

Littleton said after the city applies for the Military Installation Sustainability Program, the OEA will award the city with a $1 million to $1.5 million grant to study what sort of improvements could benefit both the city and the base. The city needs to coordinate this effort with the base, Littleton said. 

During the meeting, Col. Michael Hunsberger said the base is looking forward to this partnership.

As an example of how this program can work, Littleton cited a community in Colorado that through this study identified safety concerns along a stretch of state highway that links the military base to the city. Data from this study was then used to help the state secure a $18.4 million grant to improve the roadway.

Greenberg said this study is the first step in a lengthy process that should benefit both the city and the base for years to come. 

“Clearly you can’t eat the elephant in one bite; there’s a lot to do there,” Greenberg said. “But this is an ongoing process. … This is going to set in motion a process that hopefully should last for decades to come and help make the city and the base an amazing space base of the future,” Greenberg said.








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What'd you make of the county's decision to close beaches for the Fourth of July weekend?

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