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Fort Knox Fence Project Hearing Wednesday

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Fence Project Public Info Meeting at Fort Knox
Wednesday, July 31, 2013, at 6 PM, Visitor Center

The Friends of Fort Knox announced that Major Stephen Lavallee, US Army Corps of Engineers, has organized a public informational meeting on the proposed Fort Knox fence project for Wednesday, July 31, 6 PM, at the Fort Visitor Center. Major Lavallee has organized the three principle sponsors of the project, which include the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL), Maine State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The group will present details of the project, which calls for 1800 linear feet of fencing and 300 feet of plantings, which is being planned to prevent injuries from falls.

The public who arrive at the Fort for the public hearing will not be charged an entrance admission fee, but should arrive at approximately 5:45 and beyond.

This project will have an adverse impact on the historic landscape of Fort Knox. The FFK wants members of the public to know the details of this project and have the opportunity to voice their concerns.
The FFK Board hopes that the hearing will clarify conflicting information the following issues:

· Why was the Board told that there would be a public hearing initially?
· Who asked for the project?
· How much money is the project going to cost and what is the source of funds?
· What impact does the Maine Tort Claims Act have on the State’s liability for injuries at the Fort?
· Are there other ways to mitigate safety concerns without altering the appearance of the Fort forever?

Recently, the FFK Board sent a letter to representatives of the USACE, BPL and SHPO asking that a public hearing be conducted. The Friends hope that though this is an informational hearing that comments and questions will be allowed from those in attendance.

Data taken from injury incident reports provided by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, for the period of 1982 through 2010, and Friends of Fort Knox reports for the past two-years, a total of 44 reports have been filed. Many of the injuries came from slipping on wet stairs or by simply walking. A total of five injuries over this 31-year span involved falling from a height of four feet or more at the State Historic site. The percentage of falls from the referenced height represents 11.4% of injuries over three decades.

FFK encourages all with an interest in this project to attend this public informational meeting.