FORT KNOX (AP) — Central Kentucky officials are in the final stages of a letter-writing campaign to oppose potential cuts at Fort Knox.
The Army has said that the post could lose 4,100 soldier and civilian jobs if maximum cuts are reinstated in 2016.
The News Enterprise reports the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce One Knox Policy Council partnered with the CORE Committee to raise awareness about the possible cuts and get people to write letters or digitally sign one written by the organizations. That letter argues against making cuts at the post, saying such a move would have a “severe economic impact” on surrounding communities.
The letter had more than 10,000 signatures by Monday, and officials are hoping to get more before an Aug. 25 deadline to submit comments.
“We appreciate everyone who has signed a letter, but we still need the public’s help,” said Brad Richardson, president and CEO of the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce. “Other communities are getting similar campaigns off the ground, and we don’t want them to overshadow the support this region has displayed. We want our voice to remain loud and clear: There’s no community that supports the U.S. Army like the Fort Knox community.”
Fort Campbell, which straddles the Kentucky-Tennessee state line, is in the midst of a similar campaign to stave off potential cuts there.
Bill Barron, executive director of the CORE Committee, which works to promote and protect Fort Knox interests, said he thinks it would be difficult for the Army not to notice the large amount of signatures gathered during the campaign.
“To me, it’s human nature for those making the decisions to notice what communities care about the installations,” he said. “Ten thousand to 15,000 letters won’t necessarily mean the decision will go one way or another, but it could help swing the decision, I think.”