Last week I noted that the nation’s largest military installation, Fort Hood, is undergoing a severe budget crunch as Chimpy’s Vanity War continues to drain funds from the Department of Defence.
Today we learn that another Texas military base, Fort Sam Houston, is in danger of losing electrical services due to non-payment of bills.
Heckuva job, Rummy!
SAN ANTONIO — Fort Sam Houston has received 1,300 utility service termination notices for delinquent bill payments, which officials blamed on a major budget shortfall.
CPS Energy warned commanders at the post to pay $4.2 million by Wednesday or risk losing power. The post is three months behind on its bills, but both Army and utility officials said the two parties were talking and no cutoff was imminent.
“Who would imagine us not paying our bill?” said Col. Wendy Martinson, Fort Sam Houston’s garrison commander. “I worry about it. I can’t sleep at night.”
The post, which trains medics, faces a $26 million budget shortfall this year — a problem that officials said is symptomatic of the financial woes facing posts worldwide.
The installation management agency is wrestling with a $530 million deficit and is awaiting funding from a $94.5 billion supplemental appropriations bill. The Senate is set to vote on a revised supplemental bill following House approval earlier this week. The funds are intended for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as hurricane relief.
Martinson said the supplemental funding would be a temporary fix. To deal with the budget crunch, the post has fired 100 contract workers, frozen hiring, shut off cell phones and BlackBerry devices, turned in leased cars and stopped troops from using government credit cards.