The public has until Aug. 28 to review and comment on a draft agreement that, once finalized, will guide operations of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.
The agreement, between the National Park Service and the Department of Energy, can be viewed at www.parkplanning.nps.gov/MPNHP.
Local officials who’ve read the draft said it appears solid.
Kennewick Mayor Steve Young, chairman of a local advocacy group formed to represent the community in development of the national park, said he still needs to go over the report in more detail.
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But “it looks pretty good. They’ve done a lot of good work on it,” he said.
Gary Petersen of the Tri-City Development Council, or TRIDEC, said he also plans to give it a deeper read. However, “I don’t see anything in the (draft agreement) that is anything but positive,” he said.
The memorandum of agreement provides “a high-level framework that will guide the cooperative efforts of the National Park Service and the Department of Energy to manage the park,” said a National Park Service news release.
It doesn’t deal with details such as the park’s interpretive themes, staffing and management. Those issues will be addressed down the road.
The new park will include historic areas at Hanford; Los Alamos, N.M.; and Oak Ridge, Tenn. — the Manhattan Project’s three primary sites.
Each location will have a site manager who reports to the park’s superintendent.
The superintendent will be based at a National Park Service central office, likely in Denver, the release said.
All three sites will have similar staffing levels, it said.
After the public’s comments are reviewed, the agreement will be finalized and signed by the secretaries of the interior and energy, with the park officially becoming part of the National Park System, the news release said.
Comments can be submitted online or mailed to NPS Denver Service Center, attention Tracy Atkins, project manager for the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, at P.O. Box 25287, Denver, CO 80225-0287.