U.S. Air Force officials have finalized a contract that privatizes the electrical systems at Hill Air Force Base. The Defense Logistics Agency Energy assisted the Air Force in finalizing the 50-year contract with City Light & Power, Inc. The contract is worth more than $280 million dollars and will help employees at Hill modernize and maintain the base’s decaying electrical systems. City Light & Power officials say they plan on investing about $5 million in the first year to fully update the current system.
Federal workers and furloughed employees are holding a rally Thursday at the Ogden Federal Building to protest the government shutdown. Ogden-Clearfield is one of the top 10 metro areas in the country affected by the furloughs. Hill Air Force Base is Utah's largest employer with some 25,000 federal employees and contractors.
Many civilian employees at Hill Air Force Base are facing another day without pay this week, while Congressman Rob Bishop argues the Defense Department could have avoided the furloughs under the federal sequester.
The Ogden Air Logistics Complex – by far the largest unit at Hill – gets most of its support from the Defense Working Capital Fund, which was not subject to the sequester. But he says the Obama administration made a political decision to spread the cuts out over a large group of civilian workers.
A major part of the July 4th celebration in Utah is going away this year because of federal budget cuts. The U.S. Department of Defense has grounded all patriotic flyovers for the rest of the new fiscal year. A year ago Wednesday KUER reported on a record number of flyovers in a single day by the 419th Reserve Fighter Wing in Utah. The wing and support crew did 19. This year they’ll do zero. Andrea Mason of the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base says the F-16 pilots normally use the flyover as training sorties so there’s no extra cost to the taxpayer.
The Salt Lake City School Board considers a tax increase, the Federal Government will now manage Utah’s high-risk health pool, and Utah’s congressional delegation feels confident about the future of Hill Air Force Base.
Utah Senator Orrin Hatch visited state representatives in the House Wednesday to deliver what he called unhappy news. He says the Sequester, the automatic across-the-board spending cuts, will happen and it will be a difficult thing, especially for civilian employees at Hill Air Force Base.
”and it’s certainly going to hit a lot of small contractors and it’s also going to hit our workforce up there, is about two thirds civilian. So if you can imagine we’ve got to be prepared for whatever comes,”says Hatch.