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    One town to the next: Quantico’s impact nearly $7 billion

    Town of Quantico

    Photo By Shaehmus Sawyer | A photo featuring the Town of Quantico, taken June 16, 2024. Also known as Q-Town, it...... read more read more



    Story by Shaehmus Sawyer 

    Marine Corps Base Quantico

    MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. – Rich in history and a novelty to U.S. Marines, the Town of Quantico is the only public city located within a military installation. Its longest road is only about a quarter mile long, rests on the bay of the Potomac River, and has a population of about 550 residents. While small, this secluded town has a reputation with Marines that span generations.

    Also known as Q-Town, it was founded in the mid-1600’s and was originally a small fishing and logging port, at least until 1917 when the Marine Corps established MCB Quantico. It would become known as the “town that cannot grow” because the base encompassed its borders. Over the past 107 years, the nestled town and its businesses formed an intimate relationship with the Marines and many others who visited the town.

    “I like the benefit of having the Marines here,” said Nicholas Aldea, an employee at S&G’s, one of Q-Town’s staple and oldest restaurants. “It gives us peace of mind, sense of security, and you feel safe.”

    Although, many people outside of U.S. Marines visit Q-Town; government employees, politicians and high-ranking Marines visit storefronts for common needs, such as tailoring or food. Even Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th U.S. president, visited the town, seen laughing in front of an old hardware store at Q-Town according to numerous other stories. The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library also shared that the 33rd president visited the town of Quantico.

    “I’ve had two-star generals visit for food,” noted Aldea, who has been in Q-Town for the past decade. “The way the businesses are set up, it’s definitely catered to the military and government workers.”

    His restaurant, like most of the businesses on Q-Town, is one of the first to see down the quarter mile stretch. As you walk down the main street, storefronts stand at attention, towering over the sidewalk that’s met with the bumpers of vehicles, and sees the countless boot traffic that supports their economy. Down that stretch is the Quantico Marina, which is owned by the base and operated by Marine Corps Community Services, but open to all personnel with base access including the town residents.

    It can appear that Q-Town is a part of base because of the similar names that include “Quantico,” but it falls under the jurisdiction of a neighbor: Prince William County, which also feels the contributions of the base.

    “The economic value to the Marine Corps Base Quantico locality is $3.2 billion in direct impact, and another $2.7 billion in indirect impact,” said Wade Hugh, the deputy county executive of Prince William County, regarding his county.

    Direct funding includes base employee payroll, local contracts, and funding to local agencies like school districts, according to Christopher Landgraf, the community plans and liaison officer for MCB Quantico.

    “Indirect is regional contracts, regional funding, and items that would have a trickle-down effect on the local economy like sales taxes and commuter taxes,” he said.

    To illustrate the impact of a small population on surrounding counties, about 4% of the population of the other two counties – Stafford and Fauquier counties – make up the workforce on base; however, despite this small percentage, they contributed to nearly $1.5 billion of total impact, according to statistics provided by MCB Quantico’s community plans and external affairs section.

    These economic impacts are made possible through various efforts, such as federal impact aid, volunteerism, community relations events, contracts, partnerships and more.

    “MCB Quantico has a history of collaborating with the surrounding community using partnership agreements with local, state, and other federal government organizations,” said Jennifer Burcham, the business programs team lead with base’s Performance and External Affairs section.

    She explained that these collaborations are made possible via Intergovernmental Support Agreements.

    “Through IGSA’s with Prince William County, Stafford County, Northern Virginia Regional Commission and Virginia Department of Transportation, the base is able to secure materials, equipment, and supplies in support of operations and maintenance of the installation, which in turn reduces costs and enhances mission effectiveness,” she said.

    The materials from IGSAs range from road and weather maintenance supplies, like salt, sand, and gravel, to water and wastewater chemicals for treatment plants and swimming pools.

    Currently, "equipment” includes parts for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning units; however, the base's leadership is looking to expand on the types of equipment such as lawn mowers to help maintain roads, according to John Kiersma, the assistant chief of staff G-7, Performance and External Affairs. These agreements also go beyond supplies and services.

    In one instance, the primary road on MCB Quantico’s main side had a failing shoulder due to a collapsed pipe, he explained. Originally, Naval Facilities Washington evaluated a 12-month repair time, but after this IGSA was signed with PWC, the repair only took three months with less financial expense. To this day, PWC continues to assist base with services to help it operate, such as tree debris removal, stormwater pipe repairs, demolition work, and more, and MCB Quantico supports its Q-Town with water and sewage services.

    While these three counties exemplify the influence Quantico has on the bordering communities, the base’s influence can also be felt in Fairfax and Spotsylvania counties.

    All in all, the total economic impact across all five communities in 2023 is nearly $7 billion, a testament to Quantico’s economic impact within the National Capital Region and its neighbors.


    Date Taken: 06.12.2024
    Date Posted: 06.12.2024 13:03
    Story ID: 473730

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