The New London Veterans Memorial Foundation continues making progress on a proposed veteran’s memorial in the city.
Members of the group presented conceptual drawings of the memorial at the May 5, New London Parks and Recreation Committee Meeting.
Foundation Chairman Jim Massonet also presented drawings of an existing war memorial in Taft Park. Massonet said it would remain on the property, but the foundation would like to move the existing memorial to the east, and create its own decorative walkway and dedicated lighting.
He said eventually they would also like to add a large decorative eagle on top, as funding allows.
“It would still be part of the park but separate as its own memorial,” said Massonet.
There were questions about the trees in the park at the last meeting.
Foundation members initially asked if any could be removed.
Parks committee members did not favor that idea, but agreed to look into the overall health of the existing trees at their April meeting.
Parks and Recreation Director Chad Hoerth said that Ranger Services inspected all of the trees and there were no signs of deterioration.
Massonet informed him that there would be no reason to move any of the trees.
The new veteran’s memorial would locate in a half moon shape where the existing memorial stood in front of the flags.
Massonet said they favored the open concept, and wanted to leave the site opened to the river behind.
Committee members passed around the computerized images and gave the design a favorable response.
Alderwoman Lori Dean liked the concept. She praised the computerized design and said, “I think if you get these photos out there in the community, it would be a lot easier raising money for the project.”
Massonet agreed and informed the committee they are currently working on the final stages of a brochure. He also thanked Mathewson Monuments of New London for assisting in creating the concept design and images.
Massonet said he did not expect construction to begin within the next year, as the foundation must first focus on fundraising efforts.
Hoerth presented the revised plans for reshaping the sledding hill near Riverside Park to accommodate for the new city garage. Earthwork for the 2016 building project is planned to begin this fall. Hoerth said that the additional earthwork for reconfiguring the sledding hill could increase the cost of the project by $15,000. There were concerns that the sledding hill could possibly be closed for this winter.
“I think whatever we can do to get this open for the winter, obviously that is ideal,” said Hoerth.
“If everything goes as planned, it should be done,” said Mayor Gary Henke. “But you know how projects are, there always is something that could come up.”
The committee continued its ongoing discussion of capital projects in anticipation of the June Equipment and Capital Projects Committee meeting. Hoerth presented a working list to the committee. There was a consensus in favor of completing Franklin Park ADA playground upgrades ahead of Memorial Park.
Hoerth said that he hoped parks crews could get the ADA playground at Hatten Park finished before the graduation party rentals start. He informed committee members that staff have been busy getting other facilities and venues opened for the season. The rubberized surface needs to be put in place to open the structure.