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Property sales at Fort Monroe considered in city draft
By David Macaulay, firstname.lastname@example.org | 247-7838
The City of Hampton would be the jurisdictional government for services at Fort Monroe and the sale of property would be allowed, under draft legislation being worked on at City Hall.
An update on proposed legislation obtained by the Daily Press was sent by Attorney Cynthia Hudson in an e-mail to City Council members Nov. 17. The city has to confirm its intention to file a bill to its legislative delegation by Monday. It's unclear if any changes will be made.
In the Nov. 17 e-mail, Hudson said, Hampton will be recognized as "the jurisdictional government for Fort Monroe for the provision of services" to citizens living there. This would nullify the creation of a "Village under Commonwealth control" per current state legislation.
But after the Army leaves next September Fort Monroe would continue to be owned by the Commonwealth and the Fort Monroe Authority would continue to exist to manage its reuse, according to Hudson's e-mail.
The authority would "fix rents, charges and fees" to support payments to Hampton, Hudson said.
"We have modified language to authorize the sale of property at Fort Monroe under conditions that preserve the Commonwealth's interests in preserving the historic properties and natural resources of the site," Hudson wrote.
Steve Corneliussen of Citizens for Fort Monroe National Park said he's worried by any proposal to allow property sales at Fort Monroe.
"Fort Monroe is Virginia's only issue with thousand-year implications. Selling any land there would stop the future from correcting the inevitable mistakes of the present. Once it's sold, it's gone forever," he said Thursday.
"Hampton has a unique stake in Fort Monroe, a stake requiring deep respect. But no Hamptonian should incur any special tax burden because of Fort Monroe, a national treasure with international importance that no city should own in any sense anyway," he said.
Hudson said Thursday: "It is prudent for me to reserve comment on the existence or nature of any proposed changes to the Hampton-generated bill draft since [Nov. 17] as the bill is not final and does not include input that I expect from counsel for the Fort Monroe Authority."
See the Hampton Matters blog at dailypress.com/hamptonmatters