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Fort Fisher State Historic Site

The Civil War battle at Fort Fisher was the largest United States naval operation until D-Day during World War II. During World War II, the site housed an airstrip and served as an anti-aircraft training facility for Camp Davis at Holly Ridge.

The Fort Fisher State Historic Site is the most visited State Historic Site in North Carolina, attracting 926,064 visitors during fiscal year 2018 and 949,920 during fiscal year 2019. Many of the visitors are civic groups; school groups; summer camp programs such as the YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, and Junior ROTC; nursing homes; military groups; and families.

To accommodate the various visitors at the Historic Site, funds are needed to build a new Visitor Center to provide additional space for exhibits, a larger auditorium to handle several school groups at once, a multipurpose space for classrooms, storage facilities for archives, and rental space for additional income. Funds are also needed to expand the earthworks exhibit, upgrade its parking lot, and build a new maintenance facility.

The proposed project to do these things will cost $20 million. I had previously lobbied for and obtained an appropriation of $12.5 million. The proposed Budget has $8 million in funding that I also lobbied for, which consists of $7.5 million for the project and $.5 million for an Underwater Archaeology Branch to be located on the site to preserve the State's maritime history.

Separate and apart from State funds, the Friends of Fort Fisher nonprofit support group will be responsible for raising an additional $2 to $3 million for new exhibits, as well as more replica artillery pieces.

I support the Historic Site project because it not only preserves our local history but also provides an important tourist attraction. The visitors may eat at restaurants, stay overnight at hotels, buy gas, and shop with local merchants. These expenditures and resulting sales tax revenues have a positive economic impact on our local community.

Paid for By Davis for NC House
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