Archive for Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Veterans memorial plans get facelift

November 21, 2007

Design changes have occurred and plans for a veterans memorial in Lansing are back on track.

The memorial, which has been in the hopper since 2005, was the main topic of discussion at a Lansing City Council meeting Thursday, Nov. 15.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12003 Commander Jeff Meid explained that the memorial, originally estimated to cost $120,000, has been scaled back, made compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and had some materials substituted.

"Honestly, we (the VFW) cannot come up with that kind of cash," Meid said of the original price tag.

He told council members that Overland Park-based SI Industries, a monument company that created, among other things, a large veterans' memorial on the campus of Pittsburg State University, is preparing a preliminary design for the memorial, which is to be located just southwest of Lansing City Hall.

The design will feature a scaled -down version of the original plans. It will no longer include a tiered monument and will now use granite pavers, instead of brick, on walkways leading to the monument.

Individuals will still be able to purchase the pavers at $40 apiece (or $35 apiece for seniors) or three for $100 and inscribe them with their name or the name of a designated veteran.

Council member Dee Hininger asked how the changes would affect those who have already purchased bricks. Meid assured him they would have no effect on past or future purchasers.

Actually, Meid said, the granite pavers cost more than the brick but "the consumer will not bear that." They will stand up better to foot traffic and the elements, Meid added.

Additional funding for the memorial could come from private donations or in-kind assistance.

"Depending on how much we can get in-kind or from other sources, that will reduce our costs significantly," Meid said, adding that tentative agreements for the donation of concrete and site preparation work have been arranged.

As for current cost projections, Meid said SI Memorials is still coming up with a financing package but later added, "I think we can get an ADA-compliant memorial that's dignified, respectable and honors veterans at no more than $30,000."

Because it will be on city property, the City Council will make a determination on the memorial's final design, said Mike Smith, Lansing city administrator.

Asked about a timeline for the project, Meid told the board, "I would like to see this memorial completed by this coming summer."

In other business Thursday:

¢ Smith reminded those present that a Main Street ribbon cutting will be at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28, at First National Bank in Lansing. Smith said several local and state dignitaries, including Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Deb Miller, would be on hand to celebrate the end of construction on Main Street.

Smith also introduced Nolan Sunderman, Lansing's new economic development director, to council members.

"From what I've seen so far, Nolan will be a big role player and a big asset to the city of Lansing," Smith said.

¢ Council member Andi Pawlowski requested the council set up a time to tour the new elementary school in the coming weeks.

¢ Council member Dave Trinkle wished those present a "Happy Turkey Day."

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