After about a year of delay, the Navy has published its final Environmental Impact Statement on redeveloping the former Willow Grove Naval Air Station.
The report was one of the final hurdles before local officials can begin building the hundreds of new homes, offices, stores and other facilities planned for the 862-acre base.
After a 30-day waiting period, the Navy will officially record the decision to transfer and begin negotiating a sale price.
Local officials had hoped all that could be done and construction begin by the end of 2014. Now, the best case scenario would see construction begin in late summer.
The 1,794-page report is available for review at the Horsham Library, 435 Babylon Road, and the Township building, 1025 Horsham Road. They are also posted online at http://yosemite.epa.gov/oeca/webeis.nsf/EIS01/12011E343ECBFF6C85257E0E001C0DF3?opendocument.
The report confirms earlier estimates that the proposed redevelopment plan would generate $928 million in construction costs, 10,357 jobs and $15.6 million in tax revenue for Horsham Township.
The project, to be built over a 20-year period, would require expansion of the water, waste, and stormwater systems, and additional measures to mitigate the increased traffic.
The Navy has posted documents and information about the base closure at http://www.bracpmo.navy.mil/brac_bases/northeast/reserve_base_willow_grove.html. The local authority redeveloping the base also has a website, www.hlra.org.
- Jessica Parks