Wichita Falls is joining 16 other Texas military towns calling for the state to invest more money into their bases. A total of 16 mayors, including Wichita Falls Mayor Glenn Barham is calling for the state to put in $150 million dollars to those military towns to help keep their bases open and operational. Mayor Barham said Wichita Falls economy is connected to Sheppard.
The economic impact of Wichita Falls from Sheppard is tremendous. I don't know the exact percentage of our economy that Sheppard is but it's a large one. It's close to a billion dollars it's in the 800-900 million range," said Mayor Barham.
If Sheppard and other bases are closed down it would impact more than just Wichita Falls.
"State wide it's a 150 billion dollar impact on all 15 installations throughout the state of Texas...
Wichita Falls would suffer dramatically as well as Burkburnett all the surrounding communities for that matter Iowa Park Electra Henrietta I'm certain maybe even some counties and smaller cities in Oklahoma," said Mayor Barham.
The worry is that a Base Realignment and Closure otherwise known as a BRAC could happen in the near future.
"I think overall my personal opinion Sheppard is secure but you never know what will happen if a BRAC round comes about. Every city in my opinion would be impacted if 150 billion dollars of economic impact was gone overnight and that is basically what would happen if BRAC came in and shut down fifteen military installations in the state of Texas," said Mayor Barham.
The last BRAC happened in 2005, in the 1990's three BRAC's occurred.