Senator Manchin Discusses Future Plans for Sugar Grove Naval Base

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SUGAR GROVE, WV --West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin is leading the charge to keep the Sugar Grove Naval Base site open. The senator said he has a plan in place that could keep the doors from closing and the community striving.

39 people met Friday morning trying to find a new purpose for the base.

Last August the National Security Agency notified the Sugar Grove Naval Base that it no longer needed its support.

"I don't know of a better facility, that would help transition a wounded warrior back into private life. Than coming here during that transition period. That's just me," said Manchin.

The Army, Air Force, and National Guard are looking for ways to save the site. If neither one can come up with an option for the 58 year old base, it will become a ghost town.

"We'd have to take everything in the final year of 2015 and we would have to put it in a lay up condition. What that means is that we would be removing all the furniture, taking out all the facilities, guts and basically board up all the buildings," said Commanding Officer Bill Kramer.

Some parts of the base will still be in operation.

"The upper part of the base will be very active. It's going to continue, because of it's value of the government. And with the lower part of the base what we are talking about transitioning into further use," said Manchin.

Sen. Manchin and Pendleton County commissioners want to have a plan in place by October.

"Hopefully by the end of this year we will know a direction we can go and will continue to do that until we can find the parties for here," said Manchin.

If nothing is done by the end of this year or 2014, the entire base will be vacant by the summer of 2015.

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