The U.S. Coast Guard helicopter base in Newport will stay open. It had been slated to close this month to save the Coast Guard 6-million-dollars. KLCC’s Corinne Boyer reports.
Democratic members of the Oregon delegation negotiated the language in the coast guard reauthorization bill. It will prohibit the closure of any air facilities in the U.S. for the next year.
News of the closure prompted outcry from fishermen’s groups, government agencies and the Port of Newport. There was concern that more people would lose their lives at sea because the rescue response time would be longer. Kevin Greenwood is General Manager of the Port of Newport.
Greenwood: “It’s been a wonderful experience to see the full community get engaged on this issue. Ultimately, the result has paid off at least for the year, and we’ll continue to fight together to see if we can’t make a more permanent solution.”
The reauthorization bill will keep the coast guard helicopter base open through January 1, 2016. One slated for closure in Charleston, South Carolina will also remain open.