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PORTLAND, Me. -So far Maine credit unions have won one and lost one in their combined efforts with state and local business leaders to protect military bases. Acting Aug. 24, the U.S. Defense Dept.’s Base Realignment and Closure Commission overturned a previous May plan which would have closed the big U.S. Navy base at Portsmouth/Kittery, which CUs in Maine and New Hampshire saw as providing a devastating economic blow. However, while Portsmouth was dropped off the list, the Brunswick Air Force Base remained on the closure roster. That was seen as blow to the $196 million Atlantic Regional FCU whose management had also worked hard to prevent closure. Atlantic Regional has said it is starting to make adjustments in its home mortgage portfolio in advance of a sharp downturn in prices as a result of the possible closing. The Maine League, which has been holding economic roundtables on base closings, said last week that CUs, particularly in affected areas “are in the process of assessing the impact and formulating a plan to offset any losses.” “You know closing Brunswick means the loss of 4,300 jobs and that’s simply devastating to mid-coastal Maine,” said Ken Hensler, president/CEO of County FCU in Caribou in a community which also stands to suffer job losses from planned transfers at the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. -

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