Photo by Cindy Campbell

Major Stephen Lavallee, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has organized an informational meeting regarding a proposed fence project at Fort Knox. Friends of the Fort believe the proposed fencing will have an adverse effect on the historic landscape of the fort.

Leon Seymour, of the Friends of Fort Knox talked to us earlier this month about what the project will entail.

"You would have eighteen hundred feet of linear fence, roughly about four feet high surrounding a good portion of the fort," Seymour told us. "In fact, the proposal would impact any area with a drop of over six feet, so that would be a considerable visual change for the fort. It would certainly change the historic look of the Fort."

The meeting will bring together the three principle sponsors of the project, which include the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, Maine State Historic Preservation Office, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The group will present details of the project, which is being planned to prevent injury from falls.

The Friends of Fort Knox hope the meeting will clarify a few key issues:

  • Who asked for the project
  • How much money will it cost and what is the source of funds
  • What impact does the Maine Tort Claims Act have on the state's liabilities for injuries sustained at the Fort
  • Are there other ways to mitigate safety concerns without altering the appearance of the Fort forever

A press release from the Friends of Fort Knox contains the following 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, show a total of 44 reports that 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. The percentage of falls from the referenced height represents 11.4% of injuries over three decades.

The meeting is being held this Wednesday at 6pm at the Fort Knox visitor's Center. Attendees do not need to pay to get into the fort, but should arrive after 5:45. Seymour says the Friends of Fort Knox hope the public will attend.

"The Friends of Fort Knox is interested to hear from the community and what the community thinks about this project and the potential impact it has on this historic site."