clear
Wednesday July 8th, 2015 12:22AM

Collins pitches sale of Camp Merrill to House Armed Services Committee

By Staff
WASHINGTON - Ninth District Congressman Doug Collins made a special appearance before the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday to make the case for Army ownership of Camp Frank D. Merrill in Dahlonega.

Camp Merrill is the 282-acre property that provides the mountain phase of the U.S. Army's Ranger School. Since 1951 the Army has operated the facility, which houses 200 active duty soldiers training as one of the world's most elite fighting forces, under the supervision of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Collins says this arrangement has led to "duplicative" procedures and rules that are designed to "satisfy both departments but really result unnecessary federal bureaucracy and waste."

As just one example of the negative effects of this duplicity, he cited a group of trees surrounding a landing zone for helicopters needed to be trimmed because their growth had created a safety concern. Because of the two-level approval process of structural and environmental changes required by dual management of Camp Merrill, it took two years of continued safety hazard for the trees to be trimmed. In that time, the cost to trim the trees doubled.

"While this may appear a miniscule amount of money," Collins said, "remember a redundant approval process can be traced back for over 50 years," making the real waste due to this arrangement untold.

Collins talked about his proposed solution: "My legislation [H.R. 3960] reverses decades of redundant oversight and enacts a land exchange between the Department of Army and the Forestry Service. This exchange will allow the Army to gain administrative control of Camp Merrill and Forestry Service gets new lake property on Lake Lanier."

Collins urged the committee to include this solution as part of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act.

© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 6 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 6 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 6 months ago )
U.S. News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 6 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 6 months ago )
Local/State News
Committee leaves transportation funding to lawmakers
Georgia will have to cover a $1 billion to $1.5 billion transportation funding gap to stay economically competitive, a committee of lawmakers is warning in a report issued Tuesday.
5:36AM ( 6 months ago )
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 6 months ago )
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 6 months ago )
Politics
Bridge naming memorializes Demorest's Mize
Months of work culminated Tuesday night with the unveiling of the Johnny Mize Memorial Bridge in Demorest.
9:52PM ( 2 hours ago )
Gainesville City Attorney Jerry "Bubba" Palmour will not seek reappointment
Jerry Palmour, Gainesville City Attorney, announced at Tuesday night's city council meeting that he will not be seeking reappointment as city attorney.
7:51PM ( 4 hours ago )
VIDEO: "Black-Brown Alliance" turns out to Gainesville council meeting to oppose at-large voting
Minority leaders from the Latino and African-American communities of Gainesville met to form an alliance last week against Gainesville's at-large voting system, and that group staged an official protest at Tuesday night's Gainesville city council meeting.
7:14PM ( 5 hours ago )
Helen removing picnic tables, grills in favor of 'passive park'
The Helen City Commission is united in wanting to clean up Helen Riverside Park, a park intended for residents and visitors to gather and quietly enjoy the area along the Chattahoochee River.
4:08PM ( 8 hours ago )
Habersham Co. sex offender arrested following Amber Alert
SURGOINSVILLE, Tenn (AP) - Police say they have canceled an Amber Alert that was issued for a 14-year-old East Tennessee girl seen with a 41-year-old sex offender after both were found in Virginia.
3:35PM ( 8 hours ago )