Ohio Democrats Say Funding Should Stay In Mansfield

  • 5/9/2019 4:32:02 PM
  • WMFD Digital Team
  • Local News

MANSFIELD, OH - Representatives from the Ohio Democratic Party held a press conference Thursday to inform the public of the possibility that Ohio military projects could be impacted by President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency for the border wall project.

State and local democrats say that Trump's decision could lead to the loss or delay of $112 million in Ohio military construction projects that bipartison congressional majorities have approved. One of those projects is a $13 million renovation at the Ohio Air National Guard Base at Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport. 

That $13 million was reserved to replace the fire station at the airport, which has been in operation since 1952. The new facility would provide an updated ventilation system for engine fumes, and a women's locker room and restrooms. 

"We wanted to really speak out today about the need to keep the funding here, where it was promised by Congress, and to not let it be diverted," said David Pepper, Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party. "All the stuff in D.C. is chaotic... what gets lost is there's a real impact to that stuff. Back in communities like Mansfield, Richland County... there are a lot of jobs at stake."

While some democrats are concerned about projects like the fire station being axed, city representatives are more confident that the funding isn't going anywhere.

"We don't see this operation going away," said Don Bryant, Councilman at Large for the City of Mansfield.

With or without the funding, service men and women at Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport will continue on. Captain Paul Stennet of the 179th Airlift Wing made this clear in a written statement provided to WMFD back in March, when the possibilty of the project losing its funding first came to light.

The statement reads, "The 179th Airlift Wing is an active member of Mansfield and remains committed to responding to the local community with defense support to civil authorities. We will continue to provide this support when called, as part of our community mission. We are ready to execute the construction project on the new fire house as planned if funding is received. Defending our nation, supporting the war fight, developing mission-ready Citizen-Airmen and protecting the homeland will always be our top priorities."

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