Senators Casey, Toomey, and Congressman Cartwright Announce Completion of Tobyhanna Land Transfer
Washington, DC – After four years the transfer of a 42 acre plot of land in Monroe County has ended, successfully.
The Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) Alliance, a regional community and economic agency, has successfully transferred the land to the Tobyhanna Army Depot, one of northeastern Pennsylvania’s largest employers and, the only logistics support depot for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) Systems across the Department of Defense.
U.S. Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey, and U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright sent a letter to the Assistant Secretary of the Army Jo-Ellen Darcy in December 2014 urging that the transfer be expedited, “We hope the US Army Corps of Engineers will move quickly to process the transfer of this land to the Tobyhanna Army Depot which will be used to enhance their mission capabilities.”
“Completing this land transfer will further the work being done at Tobyhanna Army Depot, which contributes a great deal to our nation, state and region,” Senator Casey said. “Tobyhanna’s skilled workforce continues to support our nation’s defense and serve a foundation for the region’s economy.”
“I’ve had the opportunity to visit the Tobyhanna Army Depot several times. It is one of the Department of Defense’s premier electronics maintenance facilities and a major employer in northeast Pennsylvania,” said Senator Toomey. “I was happy to support this effort which will allow the Depot to enhance their mission capabilities.”
“Tobyhanna Army Depot is a one-of-a-kind facility that employs highly skilled, hard working men and women who are tasked with equipping and protecting our nation’s soldiers. This land transfer will provide the Depot with more space to grow,” said Rep. Cartwright. “The importance of Tobyhanna cannot be overstated, which is why I will always push to ensure it has the support and resources it needs to continue its great work.”
In the 17th Congressional district alone, the Depot generates $1.68 million in economic activity for every dollar invested. Additionally, every job at Tobyhanna generates two-and-a-half jobs in the larger local community.
In 2011, NEPA Alliance secured grant funds to purchase the 42 acres of land neighboring Tobyhanna Army Depot. The purpose of the acquisition was to immediately donate the land to the Depot; however the process had been bogged down for years.
As a result of the extended timeline NEPA Alliance has had to pay property taxes associated with the land using the Alliance’s Blue Ribbon Task Force funds. Noting the Alliance’s ability as a small non-profit, the payments could limit funding for other Blue Ribbon initiatives.
The Blue Ribbon Task Force was originally organized by the NEPA Alliance in 1992 to provide community support for the Tobyhanna Army Depot. The Task Force reconvened in 2014 in preparation for a possible Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) in 2017.
The most recent BRAC was in 2005 when the Secretary of Defense forwarded his recommendations for realignments and closures to the BRAC Commission, an independent nine-member panel appointed by the President. The Commission evaluated the list by taking testimony from interested parties and paying visits to affected bases, eventually closing nearly 15 major facilities.