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Fort Ritchie building is leased by U.S. Army

October 08, 2002|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

CASCADE -The U.S. Army is paying about $315,000 to lease for one year a barracks building at the former Fort Ritchie Army base, an Army spokeswoman said Monday.

The property is housing military police officers who are providing security at nearby Site R, Army spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said Monday.

Site R, known locally as the "underground Pentagon," is an alternate military command center inside a Pennsylvania mountain near the Washington County community of Pen Mar.

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The Army had not previously made public the amount of the lease with the PenMar Development Corp.

PenMar officials have refused to disclose the amount of the lease.

The Army will not reveal how many people will be housed at the base, Smith said.

"We are unable to give you that information for security reasons," Smith said.

It has not been decided if the Army will lease the property for more than one year, Smith said.

Army spokeswoman Jennifer Lafley said last week that those being housed in the building were from a detachment from Oklahoma. Fort Ritchie was chosen as a location for housing because of its proximity to Site R, Lafley said.

PenMar was created by the Maryland General Assembly to redevelop the land for business use to replace the 2,000 jobs lost when Fort Ritchie closed in September 1998.

The military tenants moved onto the base last week.

PenMar Board Chairman Brett Wilson could not be reached for comment Monday.

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