After six years of planning and legislation, the new Moon Township Commissary has been cleared from a hold in the U.S. Senate and will be up for a vote soon.
Congressman Jason Altmire (D-PA-4) said that this is a team effort. "Over the years, the federal (congressional) delegation has been successful in working together in a bipartisan way to keep the issue alive, to show that there was local support. The state and local levels of government were also critically important in helping in some funding, as well as identifying the site that would be used for the new commissary," said Altmire. "So it all came together. We were all able to work together in a bipartisan way, and luckily, we got a good outcome."
The new commissary will be built on Allegheny County-owned property across from the McGarity Reserve Center in Moon Township. Commissaries are military supermarkets where current and past service members can find goods at a cheaper price than grocery stores. The building facility is expected to be about 43,000 square-feet and cost up to $17 million.
Altmire said that the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) has committed to construct a Post Exchange in Moon Township. Post Exchanges are stores that deliver consumer goods and services at discounted prices to military members and families. "The Post Exchange would be in addition to [the commissary], to continue to provide those services, and it looks like we also have an agreement to proceed with that," said Altmire. "So it would be two separate buildings very close to each other. And again, the same people who are eligible for the commissary would be eligible for the exchange."
In 2005, the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) identified the current commissary in Oakdale for closure. The commissary currently serves about 168,000 people in a hundred mile radius and will remain open until the Moon Township facility replaces it.