Connecticut spends almost $5 million to keep facility for Navy divers open
GROTON — States with large military bases are filling what is traditionally the federal government’s role by picking up the tab for construction and repairs, saying they can’t afford not to.
One example of an on-base infrastructure project funded by state government here in Connecticut is a facility for Navy divers in Groton, with the state or local share of that cost coming in at $4.7 million.
The number of states willing to spend money to fix infrastructure in military facilities has increased steadily in the past five years, along with the scale of the projects.
State officials argue that the Pentagon keeps asking for base closings and that they want to protect their bases and the revenue they bring in.
Dennis McGinn is the assistant secretary of the Navy for installations. He says he would encourage states to invest in their bases to jumpstart projects.
Jerry Hendrix is a program director at a Washington think tank called the Center for a New American Security. He thinks states are throwing their money away, arguing that the money won’t be enough to change minds and that states are spending money to “compete in a competition that hasn’t been declared.”