Message to the Congress Transmitting the Final Report on the Community Impact of New Military Facilities

August 28, 1981

To the Congress of the United States:

Section 803(b) of the Military Construction Authorization Act, 1981 (P.L. 96-418) called for ``a thorough study of the adverse impact on communities in areas in which major, new military facilities are constructed with a view to determining the most effective and practicable means of promptly mitigating such impact.'' On March 23, 1981, I submitted a preliminary report on this study which has been conducted by an interagency task force of the Economic Adjustment Committee. At that time, I indicated that additional portions of the study were underway and would be reflected in a final report which would be forwarded to the Congress as early as practicable. I am herewith submitting the final report of this study.

The final report augments the preliminary report by including further analysis of the ability of communities to absorb growth; analyzing an additional budgeting and organizational alternative; and updating information on existing Federal assistance programs to reflect the Administration's budgetary revisions.

The report examines various organizational and budgeting mechanisms for providing assistance to communities impacted by the nearby construction of major, new military bases. The report concludes that, with rare exceptions, local and State resources and normal Federal domestic agency assistance should be used to provide public facilities and services supporting military bases. Special Federal assistance should only be warranted in highly unusual circumstances where a sudden population influx and the resulting demand for public services from a major, new military base could overwhelm State-local fiscal capacities and impede achievement of critical national security objectives. As the reports states, the need for any special Federal assistance must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

In those rare circumstances where special Federal assistance would be warranted, we will want to attain a high degree of responsiveness to State and local concerns together with sufficient accountability and control of Federal funds associated with critical national security projects. In this regard, the Special Impact Assistance alternative appears to be a promising approach. However, the selection of the preferred organizational and budgetary mechanism will depend upon the particular circumstances in each case. I will look to the Secretary of Defense and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, in consultation with affected States and communities, to advise me in this regard. I will request additional statutory authority when it is required.

I have been gratified by the excellent cooperation among all levels of Government in the preparation of this study. We intend to continue working closely with affected States and communities to reach satisfactory outcomes on national security projects which affect their interests.

Ronald Reagan
The White House,
August 28, 1981.

Note: The report is entitled ``Community Impact Assistance Study -- Report Prepared By: Intergovernmental/Interagency Task Force on Community Impact Assistance, President's Economic Adjustment Committee -- July 1981'' (174 pages plus appendices).