COLUMBIA, S.C. — At South Carolina military bases, sounds of combat will soon meet sounds of construction
Federal lawmakers passed a spending package this week that includes $273 million in funding for military projects throughout the state.
In Columbia, the money will fund a $21 million project to construct a reception barracks on Fort Jackson and a $9 million project for a new landing pad at McEntire Air Guard Station in Richland County.
Columbia Chamber of Commerce CEO Carl Blackstone said these investments will create lasting impacts on the local economy.
"Hopefully, what we will see in years to come is continued missions coming to Columbia or Fort Jackson," said Blackstone. "We can expand operations out of Mcentire."
Blackstone said some of the construction has already begun at some military bases and renovations will continue for about three years.
“These are some of the critical infrastructure projects across our state,” said Senator Lindsey Graham in a statement.
“Passage of this federal funding package is a significant accomplishment for President Biden. It marks another bipartisan, bicameral package and ensures the government continues to function and provides necessary resources to build a better America,” Congressman Jim Clyburn said in a statement.
The spending package also includes $700,000 for the Columbia Police Department to purchase body cameras and $800,000 for a Lower Richland Alumni Foundation crime reduction initiative.
It's funding that's aimed at improving public safety, which lifelong Columbia resident Lonnie Jacobs told News19 is much needed.
“It would be something good for them to put that into place into public safety for the simple fact that we need money in public safety period," said Jacobs.
Jacobs said he'd like to see more funding toward education and improving roads as well.
A new learning center at Benedict College focused on military families and a pediatric care facility at Cooperative Health in Richland County are also included in the spending package.