Eutaw National Guard Armory to close

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 11, 2005

EUTAW-While an official announcement is not expected for a few days the City of Eutaw has been informed their National Guard unit will be discontinued. Eutaw Mayor Raymond Steele said he was informed recently the unit would likely be ending its tenure, which would leave the armory empty.

Steele said no official word had been sent to the city as of Tuesday, but they were told official notice would arrive either Friday or Monday.

“It is not official and I have not received official word, but I have been told the Eutaw unit (168th Engineering) will be closing,” Steele said. “We understand the property is going to be sold and we figured if the city had any use for that property we needed to get a bid in to the National Guard in Montgomery as soon as possible.”

The word came to Steele almost suddenly last Friday. He said they would soon be given official word the armory would be sold also.

“I didn’t realize they were doing all this until Friday,” Steele said. “I spoke with the National Guard again today and they said they would be sending someone this way on Friday or Monday to officially give us the word that the unit would not be coming back, the armory would be closing and it would be sold.”

An empty armory building would present a lot of opportunities for the city. Steele said they had discussed several options in the past if the armory were to become vacant and felt this was an opportunity to research them further.

“I would like to consider allowing the city to submit a bid to put that facility to use,” Steele said. “We had talked one time about moving the police department there and there were also discussions about the fire department and a youth center.”

Steele added a public works facility has also been mentioned along with a number of uses that should be taken into consideration.