WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) along with Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced the bipartisan Arsenal Installation Reutilization Authority to reauthorize the leasing authority at Department of Defense arsenals for unused office space to outside tenants. This legislation would allow the Rock Island Arsenal to resume their leasing authority, which expired in 2012, and would authorize the Arsenal to approve 25 year leases until September of 2019 – generating jobs and income for the Arsenal until 2044.

“Authorizing the continuation of this leasing authority allows otherwise unused space to generate income for the arsenal and reduces cost of government ownership,” said Ernst. “In addition, permitting tenants to lease at the arsenal brings businesses and job opportunities to the Quad Cities communities. We have seen its success over the years, and it’s a common-sense solution to prevent government waste and promote local economies. I’m pleased my colleagues are joining me to call for continued sustainability at these arsenals and military instillations both in Iowa and across the country.”

“Our legislation will provide a workable authority for the Rock Island Arsenal to continue leasing unused office space to tenants that bring value to the arsenal while offsetting costs,” said Grassley. “It reflects a lot of discussion between our bi-state congressional delegation, the Rock Island Arsenal Development Group and the Senate Armed Services Committee to achieve a solution that works for everybody, and I look forward to seeing it become law. This is just one piece of our ongoing work to ensure the long-term viability of the arsenal, along with our efforts to increase workload for the factory and build on the impressive logistics capabilities of commands like Army Sustainment Command and Joint Munitions Command.”

“Lease revenue is an important piece of Rock Island Arsenal’s long-term economic sustainability. This legislation builds on our ongoing efforts to help the Arsenal adapt to a changing workload and remain competitive,” said Durbin. “I will continue working alongside my colleagues in the Illinois and Iowa Congressional Delegations to bring federal investment to Rock Island and provide the Arsenal with the necessary tools to unlock its own economic potential.”

"This legislation will eliminate bureaucratic red tape allowing the Arsenal the flexibility it needs to bring more jobs to the Quad Cities, encourage private investment and will help maintain the viability of our defense industrial base,” said Kirk.

“The Arsenal Partnership plays a unique role in connecting the community and Watervliet Arsenal and this leading authority will ensure that the Partnership has the necessary tools to succeed,” said Gillibrand.

About the Arsenal Installation Reutilization Authority:

  • Affords Department of Defense arsenals the flexibility to reutilize excess space through leases or contracts with private sector entities under the following conditions:
    • Contracts or leases help maintain the viability of manufacturing arsenals and any military installations on which they are located.
    • Contracts or leases eliminate or reduce the cost of government ownership of the manufacturing arsenals, to include cost of operations/maintenance, environmental remediation or other costs.
    • Contracts or leases leverage private investment at manufacturing arsenals through long-term facility use contracts, property management contracts, leases, or other agreements.

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