Economic Impact of Fort Drum Army Base, Watertown, New York

By Economic Development Research Group for the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2013, and 2018

The Fort Drum army base in Watertown, NY, has grown significantly in the past twenty years, and with that, the surrounding regional economy has changed. In 2001, the Development Authority of the North Country hired Economic Development Research Group (now EBP) to assess economic effects of the major army base on the surrounding three-county “north country” region in New York State. That study lead to a continuing relationship, in which EDR Group developed increasingly sophisticated economic impact and fiscal impact analysis methods and tools for Fort Drum and the region

The initial study examined impacts on the regional economy, as well as population, employment, schools, hospitals, housing, retailing, and, local government. The project team subsequently developed an economic analysis model that could be used to estimate impacts of future changes in base deployment and activity levels on regional employment and income, as well as tax revenues and costs within the region.

In subsequent studies for the Fort Drum Regional Liason Organization (2004, 2008, 2013 and 2018), staff of EDR Group recalibrated the economic and fiscal impact model using new IMPLAN economic model data, as well as updated information on Fort Drum employment and purchasing patterns, as well as municipal, county and state finances. The latest update of the “Fort Drum Economic and Fiscal Impact Model” incorporated further detail on the study region and added a workforce assessment that identifies occupations support by Fort Drum and the associated wages. The model enables Fort Drum to communicate its role in the economy to stakeholders throughout the region and state.