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Proposed ballistic missile base at Ft Custer gets another public hearing

AUGUSTA, MI (WTVB) - It could be “Star Wars” right next door. Branch County Commissioners next month are expected to consider a resolution of support for a proposal to put a ballistic missile defense facility near Augusta at Fort Custer, rather than at three other sites. The Missile Defense Agency took comments last night in Augusta.

This project would mean the investment in billions in construction dollars for the area and 1,200 permanent paychecks. Lt. Colonel Chris Snipes concedes that right now, no other country that might want to attack us currently has the missiles to launch a strike.There were comments in opposition, calling it a gigantic waste of money, promoting war rather than spending the funds on people needs.

Congressman Fred Upton says this site may have the edge in the competition for the base, because of the quality of life here and fewer taxpayer dollars required because of lower costs in Southwest Michigan. It will take two years to pick a site, and 3 to 5 years to build it, unless some better missile killing technology comes along.  

Communities in Ohio, New York and Maine also want the project if it’s ever approved by Congress.