The Army Corps of Engineers told 79 civilian employes at its Coastal Engineering Research Center at Fort Belvoir yesterday that they will be transferred to Vicksburg, Miss. But Rep. Stanford E. Parris (R-Va.) said Virginia will not give up the center without a fight.
"It's going to be a struggle between the Virginia delegation and the Mississippi delegation," said Dick Leggitt, Parris' administrative aide.
The Army said it will move the employes during the next nine months.
Leggitt said the Virginia delegation will seek to delete the $7 million needed for the move from an appropriations bill in January.
Mississippi officials have been pushing the Army to move the unit to what they say is a more modern facility in Vicksburg.
Virginia officials say many employes of the center, which studies coastal erosion and related problems, are less than enthusiastic about the move.
"Vicksburg, yea, Gee thanks, Merry Christmas," muttered one disgruntled employe when Army officials made the announcement to the employes yesterday afternoon.
Army officials said the move will improve the department's operations. "After a thorough review it has been determined that the relocation of CERC in Vicksburg is in the best interest of the Army and nation," said Army Secretary John O. March Jr.