Friends of Fort Knox Help Bureau of Parks and Lands 

The group Friends of Fort Knox is lending a helping hand as the state deals with more budget cuts for Maine parks and historic sites. Even though the cuts will impact fort operations, officials say they won’t catch the eyes of visitors.Meghan Hayward reports.The Friends of Fort Knox board of directors have responded to a request from the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands to help them stave off cuts to their budget.” We recognize the fact that our partner the Bureau of Parks and Lands are in a tough position economically as is everyone throughout the state of Maine.”The FFK board voted to help the bureau by accepting a request for a 50 percent reduction to their management services contract for one year.Under the contract, they provide interpretive tours, entrance fee collection, marketing and outreach services for the bureau.In the past, contracts have allowed them to retain 50 percent of fort only admission fee income to meet contract staffing needs and preservation projects.Some of those projects include the cannon restoration and re-pointing bricks.Officials say they will have to slow down future projects, but visitors won’t see a single change.” We’ve seen instituted fees in other parks. They didn’t want to increase fees throughout the entire park area.”But they say some projects will still get underway despite the reductions in revenue.” One of them is a retaining wall on Battery B that is in very tough shape and we hope to get after that this Summer.”The fort did open earlier this year because of the warm weather.And they encourage everyone to come visit.” We’ll give them the same great time they usually have.”