By Stacy Jacobson
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- While Charleston's military community could face sequester cuts in the coming weeks, it had a ray of hope Monday, in the form of a $50,000 check from the S.C. Military Base Task Force.
"We're in very perilous, uncertain times," state comptroller general Richard Eckstrom said.
Eckstrom wasn't referring to a war. Instead, he was talking about funding from Washington. Thus, the $50,000 check meant a lot, as a sort of insurance policy.
The money will finance promoting the Charleston military community to important officials and improving the infrastructure around the base, according to Mary Graham with the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce.
"All that goes toward things like bringing in VIPs from the Pentagon to the community to get them to see the facilities," Graham said.
Officials predicted a base somewhere in the U.S. will be shut down in 2015. Charleston officials wanted to make sure it didn't happen here.
"We need to make sure the infrastructure that surrounds our bases - that the roads are there to get on and off, that the schools are in great shape - all things to support quality of life," Graham said.
"The economic impact is such that to lose any of our facilities would translate in to thousands of lost jobs," Eckstrom said.
Graham said about 23,000 active duty and civilian employees work at Joint Base Charleston and about 8,000 more work for private sector defense companies in the community.
The jobs and their impact on the Lowcountry economy give officials the push to make sure the money today attempts to insure a future for Charleston's military community.
"There'll be this ripple effect on the state which makes it more necessary for each community to do all it can today and tomorrow, and not wait until 2015," Eckstrom said.
The group also donated $50,000 to each of the other three military communities in South Carolina, including Beaufort, Columbia and Sumter.