Local officials oppose new Stuttgart commissary plans
By JOHN VANDIVER AND MARCUS KLOECKNER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 14, 2018
STUTTGART, Germany — Members of a local government council are resisting a U.S. plan to build a new commissary in the Stuttgart area, citing concerns about increased traffic.
The Army wants to spend $40 million to construct a grocery store on Panzer Kaserne, the headquarters for the U.S. Army’s Stuttgart garrison.
Work on the project, which will consolidate four commissaries in the Stuttgart military community into one, is slated to be completed by 2021.
"We are aware of the lower local town council's desire to delay the construction of the commissary at Panzer Kaserne, and as of today, the project will continue as planned," said Larry Reilly, Stuttgart garrison spokesman, in a statement. "We will work with local officials if we receive notice of a change in the construction timelines."
However, in a sign of tension between the Army and officials in the suburban Stuttgart town of Boeblingen, local council members are recommending that the project be vetoed over noise and traffic concerns.
It’s not clear yet whether local opposition will have any bearing on upcoming construction plans. Earlier this month, a Boeblingen city council subcommittee voted that the town should recommend the project be rejected. The full city council will vote on that recommendation later this month.
If the veto recommendation is approved it then goes to the German Ministry of Defense, which has the final say.
Government officials in Boeblingen say they want a study that examines the impact of a new commissary, including measuring for noise and increased traffic flow in and out of Panzer Kaserne.
Christof Hemminger, a manager of the regional government’s construction office, declined to speculate whether a potential noise and traffic impact study would force the project to be delayed.
In Boeblingen, the commissary is the latest point of contention with the community. For more than 10 years, some residents have complained about gunfire at a base shooting range, though Army officials have installed sound buffers and taken other steps to mitigate the noise.