As an antidote to the continued drumbeat of down economic news, it’s good to see the U.S. Army continuing with its efforts to upgrade the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence.

This effort has been under way for a few years. On Monday, officials announced another $49 million to keep at it. The Army’s total investment so far is $225 million, and this work is scheduled to run through September 2011. The Army has owned the small-arms ammunition plant for decades, and Alliant Techsystems has operated it for the Army since 2000.

The plant makes a great deal of ammunition for the U.S. military and our NATO allies, at the moment supplying material for two wars.

The plant’s workforce has more than tripled in eight years and stands at 2,550. That’s a solid contribution to the Eastern Jackson County economy.