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FRIDAY, AUGUST 18, 2006
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EDITORIAL

An invitation for Arsenal brass to live in Decatur

Decatur residents would love to have someone like the Army's Col. John Olshefski for a next-door neighbor. He's lean, full of himself in a good way and impresses you that things are exciting when he's around.

The colonel, however, as "mayor of Redstone Arsenal," lives in Huntsville and in a new house that city's leaders gave the Army as inducement to keep growing in the Rocket City.

Col. Olshefski's big task right now is to get the Arsenal ready for the Base Realignment and Closure jobs headed to the facility.

And, he says, they are coming by the thousands as military families and civilian contractors' families pack up and leave other federal facilities.

The Arsenal's mayor told Rotary Club of Decatur members Monday that Decatur has a good chance of luring many of the families to the south side of the Tennessee River.

He was complimentary of local efforts by the school system, city and chamber of commerce in their competition with Huntsville and other areas.

And about that house he lives in ...

Huntsville also built one for the general assigned to the Arsenal. He described them as "Hampton Cove" style homes of 3,500 square-feet.

The Army needs two more for the other brass moving in and he suggested building one of them in Decatur.

Decatur and Morgan County always seek better ties with Marshall Space Flight Center and the Arsenal. What better way than to have one of the top Army people living in Decatur?

That would cost some money, but if the Arsenal's mayor is correct that BRAC is the biggest financial generator in the history of Alabama, the investment would be small.

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