Navy schedules two more OLF meetings

Published 10:51 am Saturday, May 16, 2009

FRANKLIN—The U.S. Navy has scheduled two more meetings with the public to discuss the proposed Outlying Landing Field.

The first meeting will be at 7 p.m. Monday at the auditorium of the Wakefield Foundation, which is located at 100 Wilson Ave. in Wakefield.

A second meeting will be held 10 days later, at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 28, at Zion Southampton AME Zion Church, located at 17121 Wakefield Road in Courtland.

Ted Brown, media relations officer for the Navy’s Fleet Public Affairs Office, said Thursday that Cmdr. Matthew Baker, of the OLF project office for U.S. Fleet Forces Command, would be the speaker at both meetings.

Baker also spoke at the April 28 meeting at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Jarratt.

When asked if Rear Adm. David Anderson, the Navy’s point man for the OLF project, would attend or speak at either of the meetings, Brown said, “I am not going to eliminate that possibility, but I am not aware that he is.”

Tony Clark, chairman of Virginians Against the Outlying Landing Field, said the meetings would probably take the same format as the one at Bethlehem Baptist, which produced some controversy because the time for citizens’ questions after Baker’s presentation was short.

“I can’t imagine that it will be any different,” Clark said. “But I suspect that after the fallout from the last one that there may be more time for questions and answers afterwards. Hopefully they’ll do a little better job with that.”

The Navy has identified five sites, three in Virginia and two in North Carolina, for the proposed OLF. The three Virginia sites are Cabin Point, Dory and Mason.

The Cabin Point site is near the confluence of Surry, Prince George and Sussex counties, while the Dory and Mason sites straddle both Sussex and Southampton counties.

The two North Carolina sites are Hale’s Lake and Sandbanks, which is mostly in Gates County, but part of Hertford County would also be affected.