The economic impact of robins air force base is nearly $3 billion, last year those numbers were closer to $4 billion. It sounds like a huge jump, but local leaders say don't be alarmed, the change can be explained.
"It’s our economic driver here, it's our job creation," says Gary Lee, Executive Director of the Redevelopment Agency for the City of Warner Robins, when asked about the economic impact the base has on the city of Warner Robins, Gary Lee
In 2012, Robins Air Force Base employed 24,700 people including active military, civilians, and contractors.
Jim Elliot is the City Attorney for Warner Robins and says those numbers counts, "The base has a tremendous impact on the city of Warner Robins and the city government as well," he adds.
The economic impact of the base in 2012 was $2.9 billion down from $4 billion in 2011. Scott Boyd works in the financial management department on the base and says there is a reasonable explanation. "We are using a different methodology the number dropped a good bit from 2011's value was," he explains.
In 2012 the air force command reorganized and Robins Air Force Base joined a new sustainment center, coupled with two others, Hill & Tinker air force bases.
"Our changes in methodology make us more consistent with the other two bases in the center," adds Boyd.
This time around, the monetary value of health insurance was not included in the employee salary calculation and neither was retiree pay.
"It’s vital that we keep that engine flowing," says Lee.
“People that pay different revenues to the city are government employees directly or indirectly," Elliot adds.
The base financial team says don't worry, the economic impact on the area hasn't changed much at all. "We calculated the 2012 value using the 2012 methodology, it was about 2.8 billion in 2011 using the new methodology and 2.9 in 2012," says Boyd. One statistic that didn't change was the impact that the base has on indirect jobs to the state, totaling $1.2 billion.