Montco pols press Navy to hurry up air base review
By Jessica Parks, Philadelphia Inquirer
HORSHAM - U.S. Reps. Patrick Meehan (R., Pa.) and Brendan Boyle (D., Pa.) are pressing the Navy to move faster on transferring the former Willow Grove Naval Air Station to a local redevelopment agency.
The 862-acre base has been largely vacant since 2011. The Horsham Land Redevelopment Agency hoped to get the land by the end of 2014 and begin building homes right about now. Subsequent phases would add retail, office and recreational space.
The transfer has been delayed by a Navy environmental report that "has grossly missed its target date," Meehan and Boyle wrote in a letter to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.
"For the past eight years, the township's redevelopment plans have been stalled by long-delayed reviews and studies," they wrote, noting that the project is estimated to bring 10,000 jobs to the area.
The environmental report was originally slated to be done in early 2014, but now it has been pushed back to summer 2015.
The local agency said it won't begin negotiating the land purchase until the report is complete and there are no further impediments to the transfer.