Ellsworth Task Force strategizes to keep base open - KOTA Territory News

Ellsworth Task Force strategizes to keep base open

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It's been on the chopping block before and survived. Now, in the midst of another tense budget season, the Ellsworth Task Force gets a financial boost from Pennington county Commissioners.
 
Tuesday, Commissioners approved a $25,000 budget for the task force.

Active since the early 90's, the Ellsworth Task Force has fought to keep the Ellsworth Air Force Base open in the face of severe cuts to the department of defense budget.

The group plans to commission an $80,000 study to determine how Ellsworth compares to other bases, and how it can compete for more missions.  The base came closest to closing in 2005, and task force members say things have improved since then.
 
"We're more competitive than we were then, we had one mission then, we have three now. So I think in terms of moving forward, we have a very competitive position," said Pat McElgunn, Executive Director of the Ellsworth Task Force.
 
The task force also receives an annual budget of $75,000 from Rapid City.

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