By Donna Westfall – October 5, 2016 –
Monday night, October 3rd before the Crescent City, City Council Harlan Zeigler, President of the Veteran’s Memorial Monument Group brought the council up to date. Primarily, they were there to discuss the $75,000 maintenance fee required by the City.
In his update, Zeigler spoke about the approval from the California Coastal Commission with special conditions which had to be met before they could get their development permit. These conditions included the structural foundation element had to be engineered again for a 100 year flood event, a copy of the amended use permit from the city, conveyance from the City, or rather a letter from the City manager and also a $75,000 maintenance agreement in place before any of those things were accomplished.
Per Zeigler, “All of those things were accomplished in March of last year, 2015. We finally got our California Coastal Commission permit in Adam Trask was up next to speak as the Project Director. “The monument is made of concrete and marble, flags and lighting.” He explained that the current stumbling block is the $75,000 maintenance fee that the City wants up front He asked that the amount be reduced and payment made after the monument was built.
Volunteer Fundraising Chair, Kelly Schellong, told the Council that cities across America are doing things to support their Veterans including taking care of the maintenance on monuments. She asked that the maintenance amount be a final condition of the projects approval instead of an up-front cash amount. There are many services and in-kind contributions being donated including the architectural services that Charles Slert donated. Since Kelly’s recent involvement, she’s been able to raise another $16,000. The group has also contracted with grant writers out of Fresno.
The next speaker was Doug Plack who remarked, “I can’t believe it’s been nine years since first approaching the City Council about the monument. It creates a civic pride. It honor’s our veterans that served and sacrificed. This beautification will be worth $650,000.”
Callie Martin made an impassioned plea to stop any red tape and just do it already and get it done.
Councilman, Blake Inscore, is a Veteran. His father was a Veteran and his son is a Veteran. He said, “We referred it back to staff to renegotiate the maintenance agreement with a suggested amount of $20,000 to be collected AFTER the monument is completed. I asked for it to be brought back to us at our next meeting on October 17th. It is my personal goal to have this in place and moving forward before Veteran’s Day.”