WCD threat­ens In­dian Head base

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

This let­ter was sent to the Charles County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers. A copy was also sent to the Mary­land In­de­pen­dent.

I am sub­mit­ting ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion in sup­port of Mr. John Brough’s let­ter to the edi­tor stat­ing “Wa­ter­shed dis­trict says county is not open for busi­ness” (Mary­land In­de­pen- dent, Feb. 10).

Not only does it say the county is not open for busi­ness, but it is also say­ing should the pro­posed Wa­ter­shed Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict (WCD) down­zon­ing be im­ple­mented, we are in dan­ger of clos­ing one of our ma­jor em­ploy- ers: the Naval Base at In­dian Head.

I have been a res­i­dent of and em­ployed in Charles County since 1962. I have lived in In­dian Head, Bryans Road and La Plata the en­tire time. I have spent 33 years as a gov­ern­ment em­ployee at the Naval Ord­nance Sta­tion and the Naval Ord­nance Cen­ter at In­dian Head and an ad­di­tional 17 years as a sup­port ser­vices con­tract man­ager pro­vid­ing sup­port ser­vices to the base. I re­tired in 2012 af­ter nearly 50 years of ser­vice.

In 1994 and 1995, I was a fa­cil­ity man­ager spe­cial­ist work­ing for the Naval Ord­nance Cen­ter. I was part of a team of gov­ern­ment an­a­lysts sent to all the naval weapons sta­tions lo­cated along the East and West Coast to de­ter­mine their “mil­i­tary worth” for con­sid­er­a­tion dur­ing the up­com­ing Base Re­align­ment and Clos­ing (BRAC) Anal­y­sis. This in­for­ma­tion would be uti­lized to de­ter­mine what cost sav­ings could be re­al­ized by clos­ing any one of them and re­lo­cat­ing/com­bin­ing the work done there else­where.

One of the pri­mary eval­u­a­tion cri­te­ria fac­tors was “Abil­ity of the ‘lo­cal com­mu­nity’ to sup­port the base.” “Lo­cal com­mu­nity” was de­fined as an area within a 5 mile ra­dius of the base. “Sup­port” was de­fined as a “busi­ness com­mu­nity” con­sist­ing of re­tail shop­ping, of­fice space, fi­nan­cial fa­cil­i­ties, ser­vice providers, and ad­e­quate ho­tels, hous­ing, schools and prox­im­ity to com­mer­cial trans­porta­tion.

If one looks at the In­dian Head com­mu­nity, in light of this eval­u­a­tion cri­te­ria, one can­not help but re­al­ize we cur­rently fail the cri­te­ria for pro­vid­ing ad­e­quate sup­port to the base.

Com­mis­sion­ers, you should be con­cerned. We dodged a bul­let this year when the BRAC eval­u­a­tions were de­layed, but time is short and there will be an­other one soon.

I have friends who work in fa­cil­i­ties man­age­ment at NAVSEA who have told me there will be an­other BRAC and that In­dian Head was on the last list of fa­cil­i­ties con­sid­ered for clo­sure and the work per­formed there moved else­where.

Along with Mr. Brough, I, too, urge you to table the down­zon­ing and fo­cus your ef­forts on im­ple­ment­ing the parts of the plan that will ben­e­fit cit­i­zens rather than dis­en­fran­chis­ing them. Ad­di­tion­ally, this may help keep the base open and over 3,000 per­son­nel — the ma­jor­ity of them Charles County tax­pay­ers — em­ployed.

Sal Ka­subick, La Plata

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