- Associated Press - Sunday, December 13, 2015

MOTT, N.D. (AP) - A community in southwestern North Dakota is relieved it won’t have to say goodbye to its longtime National Guard unit.

Mayor Troy Mosbrucker heaved a nervous sigh of relief when he learned that the National Guard unit in Mott won’t be packed up and moved, the Bismarck Tribune (https://bit.ly/1Z2Xxm4 ) reported. The unit has been in that community for half its history, and Mott said it was deeply unsettling to hear talk that the 1/186 Engineering Co. was on the chopping block.

“It’s such a big part of our town,” he said of the detachment which has 39 soldiers. The soldiers travel to Mott for monthly drill exercises at the equipment shop and armory.

North Dakota National Guard Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk has announced the closures of armories in Cando and Oakes at the end of February. Although the equipment shop and armory in Mott will be spared for now, Sprynczynatyk has said it will be evaluated going forward, along with the other 15 city-owned armories.

In Mott, the National Guard owns the equipment shop, which was built in 1947, and leases the armory from the city. The facilities are in opposite sides of the community of about 700 people.

Mosbrucker said it would not be easy to replace the $23,000 that the unit pays annually to lease the armory, as well as the matching grants it provides for upkeep. The facility also hosts some community events, including school basketball practices and games.

“It’s the centerpoint of the community,” Mosbrucker said. “Everybody loves that armory. People don’t want to lose that.”

Sprynczynatyk told the newspaper that he hopes the National Guard headquarters keeps the lines of communication open.

“I think it could close, but I hope it’s 10 years down the road and they give us time to make a plan,” Sprynczynatyk said. “The Guard has a big impact here, bigger than people think.”


Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com

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