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Park Service is expected to come to Monroe
August 26, 2010 | By David Macaulay, email@example.com | 247-7838
HAMPTON — — Confidence that the National Park Service will set up a presence at Fort Monroe has been expressed by the head of the Fort Monroe Authority in the wake of a week-long visit by officials.
During the authority's first meeting this week, executive director Bill Armbruster gave an update on a park service team's visit to the historic post in July.
"We had a great visit, a week-long visit with the representatives of the National Park Service," he said.
"We expect a unit of the park service down here in the future and our intent is to work with them to develop language to introduce in the fall session of Congress that will identify this as a unit of the park service," he told the board.
Armbruster said he hopes the authority will have some input into a report from the park service before it goes before legislators.
However, he was confident about the prospect of the park service coming to Fort Monroe. "The park service is going to be a player here. I think that's pretty much a fact," he said. "It's just scope, how it will be defined and the respective roles. We still have a lot to do."
Armbruster also spoke of Fort Monroe's infrastructure needs in the wake of a report that estimated it needs investment of $70 million to $80 million after the Army leaves in September 2011.
"That's really a number that's going to be phased over a period of years. The infrastructure, as it exists today, is in a condition that we can operate," he said. "We can be confident that the lights are going to come on and we are going to have running water and all that goes with it."
Armbruster said the authority has also been talking to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) about flood mitigation measures at Fort Monroe. "We can hopefully get some grant money in that context," he said.
Former state Del. Terrie Suit was voted in to chair the Fort Monroe Authority at Monday's meeting.