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Hampton to submit Fort Monroe legislation
Legislative package also contains Langley land use and police training academy
December 01, 2010 | By David Macaulay, firstname.lastname@example.org | 247-7838
HAMPTON ó Draft legislation detailing how Hampton will be reimbursed for providing city services at Fort Monroe after the Army vacates the post will be submitted to Hampton's state legislative delegation at a special City Council meeting on Monday.
The measure to amend the legislation relating to Fort Monroe is a key part of the package to be submitted to the General Assembly by Monday's deadline. Officials are not disclosing the details until the package is finalized but believe they have reached an agreement that won't leave Hampton picking up the tab for services such as police, fire and trash, without recompense.
Hampton Mayor Molly Joseph Ward said Tuesday the legislation would better define the city's relationship with the Fort Monroe Authority.
"Right now in the current legislation, Fort Monroe is described as a commonwealth-owned village," she said. "It says the citizens who live there will be citizens of Hampton and entitled to all of the services citizens of Hampton receive."
Ward said there is no definition in Virginia statutes of what a commonwealth owned village is.
"We have been working very carefully and diligently with the Fort Monroe staff and with the governor's administration to come up with language that will better define our relationship. It's also very important to the city that the services we do provide for the citizens who do live at Fort Monroe do not become a burden on the taxpayers of the rest of the city of Hampton," Ward said.
She said the final draft of the legislation had not been completed and parties such as Gov. Bob McDonnell's office and Fort Monroe Authority staff have to agree on it first.
"Conceptually we have our plan but I have not seen the final language of the legislation we are planning to introduce," Ward said.
Ward said she believes the draft legislation is almost finalized. "It's just fine tuning," she said.
Ward said the Governor's office had been "very cooperative and great to work with."
"We all want the same result which is a successful and vibrant addition to our community," she said.
Ward said Fort Monroe would be looked at as if it was any other neighborhood in the city. "Conceptually that is the model we're working with," she said.
The legislative package includes a number of other measures such as the adoption of Langley Air Force Base's Joint Land Use Plan and legislation for the Hampton Police Division to set up its own criminal justice training academy.
The meeting will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the community room on Von Schilling Drive at Peninsula Town Center.
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