While many of Beaufort's Marines and sailors are serving overseas, the community is working to keep the area's three bases protected from the next round of base closures scheduled for 2005. The Tri-Command pumps nearly $375 million into the economy each year, and the county's four municipalities aren't going to let that slip away.
They've all agreed to help pay for a $200,000 plan, created by the Greater Beaufort Chamber of Commerce, to protect the county's bases from the next round of base realignments and closures. It's an investment that will go toward educating the public about the importance of the Tri-Command.
"It's in the city's best interest on behalf of those people employed to protect the base, make sure the major employer in town is protected in any way we can," said Mayor Bill Rauch of Beaufort.
The Beaufort County Council approved $50,000 to pay for the plan. Now the municipalities are waiting to see how much the state will contribute before they decide how much they'll be contributing.