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Fort Monroe meeting in D.C. to push for national park
By David Macaulay, firstname.lastname@example.org | 757-247-7838
10:37 a.m. EDT, May 16, 2011
A delegation is headed to Washington D.C. on Monday to make the case to officials for an extensive national park at Fort Monroe.
Hampton Mayor Molly Joseph Ward, who is spearheading the effort on a committee set up by the Fort Monroe Authority, alluded to an element of "push-back" at D.C., at a Hampton City Council meeting last week.
Ward highlighted the potential obstacles saying "depending upon who you talk to there's a $9 billion or $10 billion National Park Service maintenance backlog that's causing a lot of concern."
She pledged, however, to continue to push for a national park at Fort Monroe. "I do believe we will have a unit. The question is how big will it be," she said.
However Ward has since made it clear the city and the Fort Monroe Authority remain committed to an extensive park at Monroe.
"We remain committed to a significant NPS presence at Fort Monroe," she said.
Officials will meet Tuesday with the local congressional delegation and National Park Service officials in Washington.
Mark Perreault, president of Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park, said Fort Monroe would be a small national park judged against the standards of many parks even if all 565 acres were included. He said the Fort Monroe Authority plan would comprise about half of the total acreage.
"That's very small and modest indeed," he said. Perreault said the National Park Service has historically had a large maintenance backlog.
See the Hampton Matters blog at dailypress.com/hamptonmatters