Last chance to sign petition to save Fort Jackson

Fort Jackson

COLUMBIA (WACH) â??The Columbia Chamber of Commerce is urging the community to save Fort Jackson by signing a petition today in West Columbia.

According to a Chamber of Commerce spokesperson, the petition can be signed at Zesto in West Columbia from 2-3pm. Wednesday is the last chance to sign the petition in person. The petition expires at 5pm.

Around 3,100 employees, both soldiers and civilians, could lose their jobs if major federal budget cuts hit the nation's largest training base.

"The 3,100 is just an assessment. It does not mean that is a decision that is, or pending to be, made or anything like that. So it's nothing more than an assessment. We might not lose any. We might lose the entire amount, or we might actually gain positions." says Colonel Daniel Beatty, the Chief of Staff at Fort Jackson.

If the worst case scenario plays out, 2,400 of the 3,100 jobs would be military positions.

Not only would Fort Jackson feel the blow, but the city of Columbia could be sent reeling as well.

More than 250,000 people come to the area every year for things like graduation ceremonies at Fort Jackson.

Cutbacks would mean a loss in business at Columbia Metropolitan Airport, restaurants, and hotels.

The Army is slated to get written feedback from the community on this issue by August 25th.