News of one of the larger boosts in pay in recent years for the men and women of Grissom Air Reserve Base could mean good things for the local economy.
“It’s the largest we’ve received in recent memory,” Doug Hays, the base’s chief of public affairs, told the Tribune on Thursday.
The new Department of Defense pay rates took effect on Jan. 1, according to a news release posted to the base’s website.
Basic pay will increase across the entire force by 3.1 percent, according to the release that also noted boosts to subsistence and housing allowances.
“The department is committed to the preservation of a compensation and benefit structure that provides members with a suitable and secure standard of living to sustain a trained, experienced, and ready force now and in the future,” the release said.
Civilian employees at the local base also got a boost to their paychecks, Hays said. That includes a 2.6 pay raise as well as an additional cost of living adjustment that he said makes the total increase “about the same” as the military one.
At roughly 2,000 military and civilian employees, that can mean quite a boost for the local economy.
“We are the largest employer in Miami County and probably one of the three largest in the tri-county area,” Hays said.
Officials estimate the base has an annual economic impact of about $122 million a year, he said.
Miami County Chamber of Commerce president Sandy Chittum said it would be hard to look at the raises as anything but good news for local businesses.
Though it is too early for her to have heard any feedback from those businesses, she noted recent raises just given to county employees and suggested that she may begin hearing it soon.
“Things are looking better,” she said.