Hardin County businesses combat possible job loss at Ft. Knox - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Hardin County businesses combat possible job loss at Ft. Knox

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- There is growing concern that further downsizing of the U.S. military may cost Ft. Knox thousands more soldiers.

Business leaders are going on the offensive to try and keep those jobs from marching away.

The Hardin Co. Chamber of Commerce has launched a campaign to convince the Pentagon that targeting jobs at Ft. Knox would be a serious misfire.

The Pentagon is looking at slashing more than 400,000 soldiers from the army by the year 2020.

At least 4,000 of those soldiers could come from Ft. Knox.

That's in addition to the 3,500 soldiers already marching away with the deactivation of a special ops combat brigade.

It adds up to a potential loss of $500 million in payroll.

"About 20% of the total compensation paid in Hardin Co. I don't know what that would mean for instance in Jefferson County, but it would mean something equating to UPS and Ford leaving at the same time," said Brad Richardson, CEO of the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce.

Colton's Steakhouse in Radcliff opened in 2011 when Ft. Knox was growing.

"Ft. Knox is extremely important to our business because it's most of our clientele," said Ben Ashlock, the restaurant's general manager.

The loss of thousands of soldiers and civilian support staff would inflict a major wound.

"We don't know what exactly it would look like, but it's not going to be good," said Ashlock.

That's why the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce is defending the post by launching a website and electronic letter-writing campaign called One Knox. The goal to flood the Pentagon with support for Ft. Knox.

"This letter-writing campaign will not make that decision by any stretch of the imagination, but it will send a clear message that this is important to us.

Colton's steakhouse certainly hopes the Pentagon is listening, and will not sound a retreat at Ft. Knox.

"Part of the heartbeat of this community is Ft. Knox," said Ashlock.

To learn more about One Knox and sign the electronic letter, click here.

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