Marine Corps threatens to shut off city’s water supply

| January 11, 2021 | 22 Comments

There’s a town of about 500 people located entirely within Marine Corps Base Quantico. It seems the mayor there found out that the most recent contract for water, which the Marines provide to the city, was back in the 1930s. They decided that they were only going to pay the Corps according to that contract and friction has ensued.

From insidenova.com;

Quantico, the only town in the country located within a military base, is about to have its water shut off by the U.S. Marine Corps, says Mayor Kevin Brown.

A long-running dispute between the town and the surrounding Marine Corps Base Quantico over water and sewer service has reached crisis level, Brown said, with the base threatening to shut off water if the two sides don’t reach an agreement on a new contract by Feb. 1.

Brown said town officials have been trying for eight years, since he was elected, to negotiate a “more equitable” water and sewer agreement with the Marine Corps.

Due to the current arrangement, in which the base charges the town regular customer rates, Quantico officials can’t address the $2 million to $4 million in repairs needed for its antiquated water distribution system, Brown said.

He said the last water service contract he could find between the town and base dates back 90 years, when the base first began providing water. Back then, the water rate was set at $0.10 per kilo gallon. Recently, the base has been charging the town $4.35 per kilo gallon, Brown said.

But for the past two years, the town has been readjusting the water bills and paying the base the 1930 rate.

“After escalating this matter to the highest levels of U.S. Marine Corps leadership, local and state officials and its representatives in the United States Congress, the Town of Quantico was forced to hold the U.S. Marine Corps to the existing original water agreement signed in July 1930,” Brown said in a news release late last week.

Base officials told InsideNoVa that the 1930 agreement was a revokable license with the Town of Quantico to sell them surplus water. In 1971, the base and town expanded the relationship and entered into a contract for sewage services.

In the following decades, the license and the sewage contract were modified by the actions and agreements of the parties to reflect the cost of base’s production for the services, the base said in a statement.

More at the source.

Category: Government Incompetence, Marine Corps

Comments (22)

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  1. penguinman000 says:

    Considering the under funding every base has for its infrastructure it’s no wonder the Corps can’t afford to repair the water distribution system.

    I know for certain just 3-4 years ago NAVFAC was funded at 40% of its total budget request. Makes for some hard choices.

    • JBUSMC says:

      40% of its budget request?? My question is this: Why are we shipping so much cash overseas when this is happening here?

      • penguinman000 says:

        Got me. Because of reasons?

        I was a small fish in a big pond at the time (still am) and wasn’t privy to discussions at the big boy table.

      • 11B-Mailclerk says:

        Marines typically don’t kick back to congresscritters.

      • KoB says:

        JB we shipping so much cash overseas ’cause that’s how Kongress Klowne Kritters gets their kickbacks from foreign elected officials. One of the many ways you can become a millionaire on that paltry salary that we pay them. /s/

        Looks to me like hizz dissHonor the Mayor needs to sit down shut up and pay up. Ok if the definition of a kilogallon of water is 1000 gallons and they base is only charging less than $5.00 per KG that’s cheap as all hell. As luck (?) would have it I got my water bill for Firebase Magnolia today. Showed a usage of 400 gallons for 22 days in December. Keep in mind, there is very seldom more than 1 or 2 folks using the water, small load of laundry ’bout once a week, and a dishwasher now and again. My bill was 27.50 for the water and another 27.50 for the sewage. Mayor could find hisself without a town to be Mayor of. Also sounds like, typically, the past admins of the town were NOT upgrading their infrastructure over the last 90 some odd years. Big surprise there, huh!

        Not to worry, those Kongress Klowne Kritters will be on top of it and will force those mean ol’ Marines to quit trying to charge them what it costs to produce the services they’re getting for bargain basement prices. They will also make sure the US Taxpayer goes in there ala Flint MI and completely rebuilds the entire system.

      • tommer says:

        Pakistani trannys are more important than Americans,according to the crazies running our government.

    • penguinman000 says:

      Clarification-I should’ve said NAVFACMIDLANT.

  2. penguinman000 says:

    Also, I wouldn’t be surprised to see an eminent domain case come out of this.

  3. Ex-PH2 says:

    Why on earth would Marines need water and sewer services?

  4. FuzeVT says:

    Ah Quantico – it’s the magnet that draws all USMC officers back time and again. After TBS I swore I’d never be back and then 2.5 years later, I got lat-moved to comm and had to do comm school there. I had to visit over and over when I was in the remote Systems Command organization in Albany, GA. Finally, I did my 3 years “out to pasture tour” with the Quantico H&S Bn.

    Funny story about Quantico is that I was the Grand Marshal for the Quantico Christmas Parade in 2017. This is how that devolved to a lowly major. The Base CO (the normal billet doing the gig) couldn’t make it so it went to the H&S CO. The H&S CO couldn’t (or didn’t want to) so it went to the majors. Since I was the only one that would look decent in Alphas, it went to me while I was the Opso. Turned out it was in cammies anyway, but it was still pretty fun event.

    I did meet the mayor then. It’s sort of a side gig as you can imagine the mayorship of a town of 550ish doesn’t pay much. He was pretty cool guy – had a bunch of kids. Way to take it to Big Green, Mayor Kevin!!

    • CWORet says:

      Yea, Quantico. Bane/Bread/Butter of a long period of my time. I knew ‘VT and ‘Ret had a lot in common based on many of your comments over the years. Also Agony GA, H&S BN (Newlin Hall), I Mar Div, probably others. I worked with Kevin indirectly for a few years, before he got a well deserved promotion over on MainSide. He’s a former Marine CommO as well. He’s been dealing with this water situation for a while, I thought it was resolved, but I hadn’t spoke to him in a bit. “-had a bunch of kids.” You could say that, #11 arrived last year. No shit. Anyway, if the mods decree, send FuzeVT my email addy. I’m curious how many people we know in common if we don’t know each other personally – I retired in ’14. (I’m also very mindful of PI and shenanigan’s that have happened on this site, including Lawn Dart, among others so it’s just an invite if so inclined). Cheers!

  5. Green Thumb says:

    When I was stationed in DC, we used to train down there every now and them.

    The town reminded me of (in an odd kind of way) those in the training boxes such and NTC and JRTC.

    I bet those are some old pipes.

  6. Andy11M says:

    I bet I know what happened to the service contract. Someone on post was supposed to take care of it, but they PCSed/ETSed before that could happen. Their replacement came in and didn’t know/wasn’t told about it. Same thing happened in city hall with the city manager moving on and his replacement not knowing. 90 years of this happening again and again and everyone just doing their own thing in the form of the Marines raising rates and the city just paying it. Took one person to rip the bandaid off and say “LOOK!”. All of us that served have seen something like this happen on a smaller scale with that locker/room in the back of supply that nobody knew had 6 boxes of SARP in it, or someone up at a S/G shop not knowing about something. Just another mess that fell through the cracks for 90 years and now someone has to fix it…..or not because in the next 12-24 months everyone will PCS and mass the buck on to their replacement, if they remember to mention it during one of those pre change of command briefings.

    • David says:

      In Germany in the 70s our unit had a missing deuce and a half truck. Every year there’d be a little horsetrading with a neighboring unit to borrow a deuce for the IG to count. Decades later when the unit was deactivated, turned out that truck was never in the unit. I suspect more than one person had some ‘splainin’ to do.

  7. Ret_25X says:

    when it comes to contracts, documentation beats conversation, and if the USMC cannot provide a documented contract since 1930, they are screwed on this one.

    NOVA courts are not friendly to the DoD in disputes between DoD and local governments. Let’s just say that the DoD has been more than shady with the citizens of NOVA for a loooooooooooooong time.

    Which is stupid, because dealing with the cities honestly would go a long way to making life easier on those who are stationed or work on the posts. But alas, people last, power always.

  8. Hack Stone says:

    Back before Hack Stone became Director Of Media Relations for a proud but humble woman owned business formerly located in Bethesda MD, he was a slimy contractor down at Quantico. One of his coworkers was looking at renting a room in the town of Quantico so that she could walk to work. So, practicing due diligence, she stopped by the Police Station and asked the Officer behind the desk about life in the town of Quantico. He told her not to move there, the town was teeming with registered sex offenders. Intrigued, Hack went on line and checked, and there were at least a dozen registered sex offenders that listed Quantico as their residence. No school in the town, so no 500 yard buffer that they have to worry about. Given the population and size of the town, it is probably has more sex offenders per population than anywhere else in the country.

  9. Tallywhagger says:

    I vaguely remember reading something about liens and related law that granted superiority of claims for gas and water lines attached to real property. Not so sure that the municipal folks have any interest in those rights of way or physical plant/facility.

    Then, law doesn’t hold much water in Virginia so much as ad hoc improvisation and whatever’ll git ya’ thru the night.

    Ol’ Coonman Northram, disgraced governor and ardent partial birth abortion advocate, will do what he can to keep them “comfortable”, as he likes to say.

    Could be a business opportunity looming for portapots and minority owned enterprises specializing in waste.

    • Hack Stone says:

      Jarheads can make a bundle buying up all of the bottled water and Wet Naps from the Commissary and selling them out in the town. Supplement your income with a Black Market Franchise, more respectable than roping your troops into signing up for an Amway franchise.

      • Tallywhagger says:

        Wasn’t Amway part of Betsy Devos’ bounty?

        The Potomac is still tidal at the part of the river. Maybe they can create a Middle East simulation center and land surveyor survival course.

        Kidding aside, that is a pretty nice area and a lot of money flows as regularly as the river.

        Be a shame to see the town cut off, like Bobbitt’s dick, all over a material handling misunderstanding.

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