The National Ground Intelligence Center is planning on expanding substantially, and Albemarle County is trying to figure out how to handle it, Jeremy Borden writes in today’s Progress. The Army intelligence organization (made famous for their faulty Iraq intelligence) currently employees 1,200 people at their facility on 29 North, but they intend to expand to 2,000 employees come 2011. It’s a part of a push on the part of the federal government to decentralize federal services so that an attack on Washington D.C. would not leave the nation defenseless.
All of those 820 jobs will be filled by people moving here from D.C. and around the nation, and many of those people will bring families, all of which requires more schools, homes, emergency services, roads, etc., etc. The county is trying to figure out how to handle the growth, which would be sudden and difficult to control. The feds have no obligation to coordinate with the county at all — or even tell Albemarle what they’re up to — which makes the task all the more challenging. All of this will translate to higher tax bills for all of us in Albemarle, because more money will be required in order to fund the expansions necessary to accommodate the thousands of new residents that will arrive nearly simultaneously.