SOURCE: GRAND FORKS HERALD
Aug. 23–New jobs and economic growth may be on the horizon for Grand Forks County as county officials work on a land lease to expand Grand Forks Air Force Base.
The Base Realignment Impact Committee, of which the county is a part, proposes to lease 300 acres of unused land from the Department of Defense and develop it for use by the unmanned aircraft industry.
“The DOD leases land for development if it enhances the mission of the base,” said Ed Nierode, county administration head and BRIC member. “It would allow the base to generate revenue from this unused land.”
The lease also helps expand the presence of unmanned aircraft at the base, leading to more military and civilian jobs, he said.
“We hope to have the land processed for use by Oct. 1,” he said.
BRIC presented the lease proposal to companies and government officials earlier this month.
“I’m excited to see where this group is at,” Rep. Rick Berg, R-N.D., told the Herald at the briefing. “This lease could change the field of UAS nationally and even globally.”