August 26, 2002 at 4:37 PM EST - Updated July 1 at 8:25 AM
BOSTON HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) - About 40 residents living near the Cuyahoga Valley National Park held a roadside protest against plans to build a $23 million, 22-acre Army Reserve center in their community.
The protesters chanted "Army go away" and "why here" as motorists drove by Sunday in this community between Cleveland and Akron.
The Army has said that the site near the national park is the best of five it has considered in northeast Ohio to consolidate 10 older reserve centers serving 1,000 soldiers.
Army officials are ready to spend $990,000 to purchase the land, project manager Joseph Gates of the Army Corps of Engineers said Sunday night.
The Army said landscaping would soften the impact of a site that will include a two-story, 100,000-square-foot building, maintenance shop and a warehouse.
Mayor Ray McFall and activists fear possible disruption caused by as many as 500 reservists who would report to duty Saturday mornings.
The reservists would operate 95 Humvees and more than 150 trucks, according to Council President Bill Goncy.
To allay concerns about increasing municipal costs, Gates said an agreement could be set up with the village to pay for city services and road maintenance.
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)