By Audrey Spencer
Killeen Daily Herald
COPPERAS COVE - Coryell County's economic development board members Monday morning were given a picture of Fort Hood's impact on the area.
Heart of Texas Defense Alliance executive director Bill Parry gave the presentation at the board's monthly meeting.
Board member Marty Smith expressed an interest at the May meeting that the post be included in economic development projects. Parry's presentation addressed the impact of Fort Hood - and possible changes to the post - on Coryell County's economy.
According to an information graphic in Parry's presentation, Fort Hood has an annual economic impact of $10.85 billion on the state. It contributes $7.1 billion annually to the region, employing more than 68,000 people.
"Fort Hood has fared well," said Parry when discussing the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure. "Five-thousand soldiers is roughly equivalent to a $1 billion economic impact in one year."
With the post nearing its 50,000-person capacity, Fort Hood's greatest threat is not closure, said Parry, but realignment, which could cut a significant number of soldiers and their families from the local economy.
Board and audience members agreed on the importance of the post to Coryell County's economy.
"I think we should consider taking an inventory of economic development resources we have," said board member Fred Chavez. "It's absolutely essential to have an idea of what we have to offer."
In addition to learning about the economic impact of Fort Hood on local economies, the board also:
Approved a growth rate of 1.2 percent for the county through the year 2040; an altered projection from the rate of less than 1 percent presented by the Killeen-Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Approved a mission statement presented by Smith for the board.
Approved a business card design.