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Helsel expresses fears about Monroe plan
By David Macaulay, email@example.com | 247-7838
Del. Gordon Helsel, the newest member of the Virginia General Assembly, is also the newest member of the board of the Fort Monroe Authority. But that didn't stop him getting to the crux of the matter when the board considered a report last Thursday that cast doubt on the financial model that has been worked on for the last few years for properties at Monroe after the Army leaves. At issue are long-term property leases.
David Shiver, a consultant looking at the leasehold model, suggested the authority consider sales of residential properties rather than leases. However, Virginia's legislative framework makes this highly difficult because any sales would have to be backed by the General Assembly as well as the governor.
Helsel questioned why the board hadn't seen the problem earlier. "We are finding out five months from closure that Plan A may not be the one that we are looking for. If there is a Plan B, and I'm not sure if there is, I don't know if you could come up with a Plan B in the amount of time that we have got.
"Time is going to run out and you are going to have a Fort Monroe that's going to be ineffective for anything," he said.