The report produced for Phase II was release on June 30, 2010, and is the primary report that was produced by this process. This report summarizes Phase II of the Fort Carson Regional Growth Plan, which was conducted from late 2008 to the spring of 2010, with the objective of using the most current information about the number and characteristics of the troops assigned at Fort Carson to predict the impact of changes at Fort Carson on the Pikes Peak Region. Fort Carson is a significant presence in the region in many ways as noted on the first page of the Executive Summary within the report:
- In the three year-period between December 2006 and December 2009, the Fort Carson Mountain Post grew from 12,600 to nearly 25,000 troops, with an additional 1000 Soldiers scheduled for assignment at Fort Carson over the next three years. In addition to Soldiers, Fort Carson hosts a large civilian workforce and a large number of contractors for on-going Post maintenance and special construction projects. In total, with Soldiers, contractors, employed civilians and families, Fort Carson operations support over 35,000 jobs, mostly concentrated in Colorado Springs, but extending across the Fort Carson Region.
- Currently over one-half of all Fort Carson Soldiers1 live off-post with broad implications for rental and for-sale housing markets, schools and local highway systems, as well a wide variety of public and private service providers. Post operations generate over 75,000 vehicle trips per day on local road systems. Soldiers and their families use all forms of public services ranging from schools to health care.
- The Pikes Peak Region is a major beneficiary of the Army’s investment in Fort Carson. As noted later in this report, Fort Carson directly and indirectly generates over $2.5 billion per year into the Colorado economy with most direct spending occurring within Colorado Springs and the three surrounding counties.
- The current Army mission produces large fluctuations in local Soldier populations, the result of regular overseas deployment. Deployment schedules influence Soldier and family presence in the area and complicate planning for housing, schools, roads and public services.
Fort Carson Regional Growth Plan Phase I
PPACG’s work on the Fort Carson Regional Growth Plan began in 2006 to examine the effects of the rapid increase and fluctuation of troops at the Army base. The plan was funded by the Department of Defense, Office of Economic Adjustment and through other state and local funding sources.
The plan addresses the effects of Fort Carson’s growth on a broad range of community services, including child care, health care, and housing. The plan was completed in 2013, but PPACG’s efforts to facilitate communication between Fort Carson, local governments, businesses and the community continue.
A significant outcome of the plan was the creation of the Peak Military Care Network, which links veterans and active-duty military personnel to regional services.