LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - During lunchtime at Helen's Flowers managers Debbie Atcher and Julie Debibar know their regulars from Fort Knox will spend their hour break picking up their bouquets.
Sixty-Five percent of Helen's business relies on the post especially those active duty soldiers overseas. "The families that are overseas, they still you know call us and want something delivered locally here to their loved ones," said Atcher.
It's understandable that Atcher and Debiber are scared after hearing the government will cut Fort Knox's only active unit. The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division is one of several cut in the military's effort to downsize by 80,000. But Fort Knox cuts are the deepest. Active-duty soldiers on the base will decrease by 43 percent. "It kind of concerns us that we may have to cut back ourselves, on staff, on purchasing items for the shop. It could really hurt us too," said Debibar.
It could really hurt the entire town of Radcliff. "It's our factory. It's our Ford," explained Mayor J.J. Duvall. "We rely heavily on the opportunities and growth there."
Duvall said the city has seen both sides of that. The worst was 1995 when the 194th Armored Brigade left Fort Knox. "People back then assumed that Radcliff was going to dry up and wither away."
Except the city came back and better than ever. Duvall said the state and country invested more than a billion dollars in Fort Knox over the last several years. "We had a tremendous amount of building and growth on our community."
Duvall believes there will still be plenty of those civilian jobs on post to keep the new apartments and business full. Short-term Duvall said the city will need to adjust to the loss. "We're confident there could be something else coming as long as we keep that positive momentum hopefully something good will happen."
The managers at Helen's have that hope too. "We'll just have to see what's going to happen in the future," said Atcher.
It will take a few years before the combat unit moves out of Fort Knox.
Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:12 PM EDT2014-09-02 21:12:05 GMT
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