LOS ANGELES-The US Air Force is asking elected officials here for up to $40 million in subsidies to build a research-and-development park at its El Segundo operations in the South Bay, triggering fears that the base may be closed if the money can’t be raised.

Analysts say there’s no way that the City of El Segundo, with a population of 16,200 and an annual operating budget of $36 million, can provide such massive subsidies by itself. Though El Segundo officials have indicated they’re willing to put up part of the cash, additional monies would have to come from surrounding cities, LA County, the state government—or a combination of the three.

The El Segundo base is just a few miles south of Los Angeles International Airport. Nearly 5,000 people work at the base, including almost 3,500 civilians. Thousands more are employed by the hundreds of companies that provide everything from aircraft parts to the food served at the base’s commissary.

Companies that do business with the base have also played a key role in the South Bay’s plunging office vacancy rate and growing demand for industrial space. El Segundo officials have scheduled a hearing on Sept. 5 to discuss the Air Force’s request.

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