Thompson Provision Allows for Federal Land Transfers to Local Communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN) today announced passage of his legislation granting state and local governments the permanent ability to obtain surplus federal lands and facilities for public safety uses. Senator Thompson?s amendment, passed as part of the National Department of Defense Authorization bill for Fiscal Year 2001, ensures that transfers of federal properties to Tennessee localities will be possible in the future. The previous authority to transfer federal lands expired on July 31, 2000.

As Chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee, Senator Thompson has worked with his colleagues to ensure that this federal/local exchange continues.

“Throughout the country and in Tennessee, there are sections of valuable land that are owned by the federal government but are not being used,” Senator Thompson said. “Why not convert the land into something useful that will benefit the residents of the localities in which this land is located?”

The provision allows for properties in Chattanooga, and other areas of Tennessee where there is surplus federal property, to be transferred through this program. The Volunteer Army Ammunition Plant (VAAP), located in the City of Chattanooga, is no longer needed by the Department of the Army for ammunition production. The City has been negotiating with the General Services Administration for the possible transfer of 81 acres of the former Volunteer site to be used for local law enforcement and other public safety activities.

The National Department of Defense Authorization bill for Fiscal Year 2001 has been approved by the House and Senate and sent to the President for his signature.

# # #