Writer: Courtney Alford-Pomeroy
The Institute of Government, in partnership with the River Valley Regional Commission, will be awarded approximately $380,000 in funding from the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation, Department of Defense. The Institute will lead a collaborative effort to assist six rural communities develop individual compatible use and community economic development plans as well as an overarching regional plan. The collaborative includes the River Valley Regional Commission, Fort Benning and conservation and natural resource organizations in the region. The plan will include compatible uses within and adjacent to the Fort Benning Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) outside the Installation boundary. The final plans will result from a community driven, cooperative, and strategic planning process that will help establish economic development opportunities and goals in Chattahoochee, Marion, Stewart, Talbot and Taylor counties in Georgia, and Russell County, Alabama. The plan will also serve as a partial update and addendum to the 2008 Fort Benning Joint Land Use Study (JLUS). The project launched with a kick-off event at the National Infantry Museum in Columbus on June 24. Remarks from Fort Benning’s new Garrison Commander, Col. Alexis Rivera, and UGA Vice President of Public Service and Outreach Jennifer Frum highlighted the event celebrating the 6-county collaboration with the ACUB Advisory Board and Fort Benning.