MONMOUTH, N.J. (WCBS 880/AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie plans to involve the state’s residents in deciding what to do with the recently closed military base in Monmouth.

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When Fort Monmouth closes next year, 5000 people who work there will make their way to Aberdeen, Md., to start new positions, and the future of the military base remains up in the air.

Christie disagrees with the decision to close the Fort, calling it a mistake by the federal government, but he said he also sees it as an opportunity as he signed into law Tuesday a bill which creates the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Planning Authority (FMERA), a group that will decide what to do with the space.

“We will work in concert not only with state government and with the private sector, but with local governments throughout this region,” said Gov. Christie. “To make sure the interests of citizens are acknowledged and protected.”

For now, Christie says he’s just happy the locals will have a part in the decision-making process.

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