Members of Utah's congressional delegation say it would be illogical for the Army to close Tooele Army Depot as part of a cost-cutting campaign.
An aide to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, reported this week that there were rumors indicating Tooele might become one of 24 bases the Pentagon will close following a review of 550 installations.But others, including Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah, say the storage depot for chemical weapons is unique and also is undergoing a $77 million renovation. Those factors should keep the base open.
Other construction projects at TAD, which total $327 million, include a $156 million chemical weapon disposal facility, according to Kathy Gallegos, press secretary to Rep. James Hansen, R-Utah. She said those projects have already been funded by Congress.
On Wednesday, Congress passed a bill approving a process in which a non-partisan commission will recommend which of the 3,874 military installations in the United States should be closed.
The commission reportedly will concentrate on 550 of the largest military installations and recommend about two dozen for closure.
Closing unneeded military bases could save as much as $5 billion annually. But attempts to close obsolete military bases have encountered entrenched congressional opposition in past years.