Land buy seen as way to preserve MacDill
State Rep. Dana Young said Tuesday that a state task force to which she has just been named should be attentive to a potential encroachment issue that could threaten MacDill Air Force Base’s ranking in the next round of base closures.
Gov. Rick Scott on Monday named Young his designee on the Florida Defense Support Task Force, which he and the Legislature created to protect and enhance Florida’s military installations.
Young, a Tampa Republican, said Florida Rock & Tank Lines owns property on Dale Mabry Highway adjacent to the base that should be acquired because it could be used for residential development incompatible with base operations.
“Military encroachment is one of the big issues all over the country,” Young said. “It would be viewed by BRAC as a very negative thing.”
BRAC is the federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission.
Rock & Tank officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Congress opposes a new round of Base Realignment and Closure Commission actions in 2014, but President Barack Obama could raise prospects of BRAC actions the Pentagon supports in his 2014 budget, to be released today.
Young succeeds former state Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll on the Florida Defense Support Task Force and has been regarded as a possible successor to Carroll in Scott’s Cabinet.
“I’m quite flattered by that, but right now I’m completely involved in the legislative session and haven’t even thought about the lieutenant governor’s position,” she said.
Young said she was pleased to join the task force because it ups representation for the Tampa Bay area, balancing the effects of members from the Panhandle. “MacDill is such a huge economic driver to our region, I felt it was imperative to try to get more representation on the task force,” she said.
Retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Chip Diehl, who served the U.S. Central Command at MacDill, also serves on the task force.