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$8 million freed up for Grove

July 07, 1998|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

SHADY GROVE, Pa. - The federal government Tuesday released $8 million to Grove Worldwide and its Grove Crane division for 34 more all-terrain, heavy-duty cranes.

The cranes are part of a military contract under which Grove could build more than 450 units, Grove officials said.

The money is part of a five-year contract that could mean as much as $120 million for the local crane-maker.

The $8 million, appropriated by Congress for fiscal 1998, was being held up by the office of the Secretary of Defense. It was released to the Army at the request of U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster, R-Pa., according to Shuster's office.

"This is great news for Grove," Shuster said in a prepared release Tuesday. "After learning that the funds were held up, I contacted the secretary's office and requested that they be released."

According to James McDowell, director of contracts for Grove Crane, the contract runs from June 1997 to June 2002. It began with 32 cranes. So far 107 have been made for the Army, McDowell said.

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He said Grove is turning out two cranes a week for the Army.

The money was expected by Grove, McDowell said, but if it had not come through, an interruption in crane production would have resulted.

The Army crane is designed to be used on all kinds of terrain, can fit inside the largest military cargo planes like the C-5 and C-17, and can travel 55 mph on paved roads.

Grove is the country's largest supplier of military cranes. Its last major contract with the military in 1986 called for 254, 40-ton cranes.

The smallest cranes made by Grove weigh about 6 tons while the biggest can weigh 300 tons, McDowell said.

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