A tax issue has been resolved and a huge construction project has moved forward.
Sen. Ben Nelson, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has announced that the Army Corps of Engineers has received $120 million, the first phase of funding needed to begin construction on a new United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) headquarters near Omaha.
KiewitPhelps, based in Omaha, has been awarded the contract. KiewitPhelps is a joint venture of Kiewit Building Group of Omaha and Hensel Phelps Construction of Greeley, CO.
A tax dispute delayed the project.
The Corps of Engineers had mistakenly paid state sales taxes on numerous Nebraska construction projects, prompting a hearing at the state Capitol. Under Nebraska law, construction material used in federal projects should have been exempt from state sales taxes. Work by legislators and the Department of Revenue resolved the problem and allowed the project to move forward.
“It’s official – the Army Corps of Engineers has received $120 million in funding for the first phase the new STRATCOM headquarters,” said Nelson said in a statement released by his office.
STRATCOM, located near Bellevue, employs nearly 1,700 military and civilian personnel. It likely will expand its workforce once the new headquarters is building. The Air Force estimates construction will create 400 jobs in the greater Omaha area, plus another 100 jobs to support construction.
The existing STRATCOM facility was building in 1957. Renovations over the years haven’t kept pace with the demands on the headquarters.
Nelson’s office reported STRATCOM Commander Robert Kehler noted that the current facility has experienced “serious heating and cooling problems, electrical failures and other outages,” in its attempts to support continually advancing technology. Kehler also said the existing facility is inadequate to support the full range of its 21st Century missions.
The STRATCOM project is expected to total $524.4 million and is scheduled to be completed in late 2016. It will be a nearly 916,000 square foot facility. STRATCOM oversees the country’s nuclear arsenal, its global surveillance responsibilities and its search for weapons of mass destruction.