This story was updated 10:48 a.m., Jan. 4, 2013.
Members of Maryland's Congressional delegation announced Thursday that they were able to negotiate a five-year delay in the move of 450 U.S. Department of the Treasury positions from Hyattsville to West Virginia.
The plan, originally announced in August 2012, would have sent the positions from the Federal Management Services facility in Hyattsville to Parkersburg, W. Va., by January 2015 as part of FMS' consolidation with the Bureau of Public Debt, which officials said would save the department $96 million over five years.
According to the latest agreement, the jobs will remain in Hyattsville until Dec. 31, 2019.
Anthony Coley, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of the Treasury, said in an email that although his agency received “strong support” for the consolidation plan, it was willing to negotiate with lawmakers over the timetable of the move.
“We gave those concerns considerable thought and believe this modest adjustment will allay any remaining concerns,” Coley said in an email. “During this period, we will continue to do everything we can to ensure that employees are provided career opportunities and offered the necessary assistance.”
U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Dist. 4) of Fort Washington, whose district includes the Hyattsville facility, said in a statement that the delay is “a victory” for Prince George's County and for workers who now have enough time to make arrangements to relocate or find other jobs in the region.
“I applaud the decision by the Federal Management Services to keep good-paying jobs in Hyattsville through 2019,” Edwards said in the statement. “... From the beginning, I fought to keep these jobs in Prince George's County and ensured that workers received the proper level of support to protect their well-being.”
County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) said in an email he was “pleased” to hear of the delay in the FMS relocation, and that he will continue to push both for federal jobs to remain in the county as well as attracting new government tenants. Baker has said that he hopes to attract the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is soliciting bids for a new 2.1 million square-foot headquarters in the Washington, D.C., area.
“I want to applaud the General Services Administration and the Treasury Department for recognizing the importance of keeping these jobs in Prince George's County, close in proximity to other related government entities, near transit and most importantly, where these workers live,” Baker said. “... My administration will continue to provide whatever assistance and support our federal partners ask of us in order to reach the most acceptable resolution to this issue, which is to permanently keep these jobs in Prince George's County.”
U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) said in a statement that although it's important that government be efficient and “more frugal,” decisions on consolidation and relocation should not “hang our people out to dry.”