Veteran’s Memorial park plan meets city approval

Dave Marner

Plans for development of a veteran’s memorial park in Owensville are continuing with a pledge from the city for $10,000 in “seed money” to help construct the facility on donated ground behind First State Community Bank.

E. Louise Baker pitched the proposal to Owensville’s Board of Aldermen earlier this winter and again on May 3.

Mayor John Kamler, noting he was speaking for himself at the time, suggested the city could contribute $10,000 of “in-kind match” on the project.

“Seed money,” added Ward 1 Alderman Cathy Lahmeyer.

Kamler said they were checking with the city’s attorney but said he had spoken with aldermen who seemed receptive to the concept.

Baker said cost estimates of $65,000 to $70,000 were projected for the project being considered on ground behind the bank. 

Baker told aldermen earlier this month she had received quotes for trees, planting trees, flagpoles, concrete walkways and related “flatwork” along with fencing, plaques and “black marble” memorial stations for each branch of the U.S. armed forces.

“We’re just estimating,” Baker told aldermen.

A committee meeting over the past couple of months has proposed using local contractors to complete the project based on a design prepared by Harry Kellmann. Donations will be sought for construction of the project which will include the chance to purchase memorial pavers in various sizes and costs. The pavers can include the names of loved ones who served in the military across the spectrum of the nation’s armed conflicts or individuals and groups who support the nation’s armed forces.

Baker said their group is currently researching how donations may be handled through the Owensville Area Community Foundation which is a 501(c)3 organization. Baker asked the Board of Aldermen to eventually take ownership of the site and help provide maintenance.

“This is our plan,” said Baker. “We meet monthly. Our subcommittees have been meeting to make this happen.”

Baker said they hope to have a memorial constructed and ready for a public dedication on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018 — Veteran’s Day.

“Wouldn’t that be a perfect day for the dedication” Baker asked.

Kamler’s pitch for a $10,000 contribution from the city was presented to aldermen.

“Maybe if you have 50 percent of it we could go ahead with it,” said Kamler. “I’m just speaking for myself. That would be your guys’ vote.”

No one objected and Lahmeyer noted a city contribution it could be “seed money.”

“We will sell pavers in various sizes to businesses and individuals,” said Baker. “We will really be aggressive selling these to local businesses.”