|Ray Quinn shows a model of the Veteran's monument.|
Commissioners hear update on Veterans Memorial
American Legion Post #73 Commander Ray Quinn gave an update concerning the proposed Veterans Memorial at the recent county commission meeting. As background information, Commissioner Ira Hatch explained that the previous meeting at which Quinn was in attendance, the possibility of Emery County participating in a project to build a memorial to the veterans was discussed. "We, as the county commission, have decided to participate and help the American Legion build this memorial. It is a great idea and we will help by seeking funding for this project and providing the land on which it will be constructed. Commander Quinn is here to present the plans," concluded Commissioner Hatch.
Commander Quinn said, "This has been a long, hard ordeal to plan this memorial. We have had a lot of planning meetings and fielded a lot of suggestions with the five American Legion posts in Emery County. All five posts have worked on this final proposal. Owen Olsen built this model."
A model of the proposed monument was displayed by Commander Quinn. In a space of approximately 35 feet by 35 feet, five large gray granite stones will be erected. Each of these stones will represent an era of milivice, World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, Vietnam, and Desert Storm and present wars. Etchings will be done on the stones which depict each branch of the military. Each stone will be seven feet tall and wedged shaped, with approximately two feet between each stone. The stones will be placed in a semi-circular pattern.
In front of the stones, two benches will be placed for visitors to sit and reflect. Just in front of the benches, a Gary Prazen sculpture will stand. It will be a World War II era soldier, fully armed and guarding the memorial. Engraved on the sculpture will be the phrase, "Lest We Forget."
Directly in front of the sculpture, a 7.65 Howitzer cannon will stand. The memorial will also include flagpoles with flags of the United States and Emery County. "I think this site should be lighted so Old Glory can fly 24 hours seven days a week," said Commander Quinn. "I have spoken to the Department of the Army TACON, and we can get the cannon at no cost, but we will be required to pay the freight on the 5,000 pound cannon."
In regards to the bronze sculpture of the soldier, Commander Quinn informed the council that Gary Prazen has offered to cast the statue for $60,000, which is half of the usual cost, if the county is willing to let him keep the molds to use again if necessary. Many people who want sculptures, want it to be one of a kind, and this increases the cost of the work. The commissioners were in favor of taking the lesser price and allowing Prazen to keep the molds.
"The cost of the benches, the platform for the sculpture, the freight for the cannon, and the concrete work will not exceed $30,000," added Commander Quinn. He then presented the commission with the model of the monument and the photos of comparison stones for display in the office for the public to see.
Commissioner Hatch questioned Commander Quinn about inscribing the names of the veterans from Emery County on the stones which are represented by the conflict in which they served. Commander Quinn informed the commissioners that the post commanders had discussed this at great length. The commanders decided to forego inscribing the names because of the fear of leaving someone out. Also, another reason is that so many veterans move out of the area, and others move in, so it was their decision to make this monument a symbol to all veterans, alive and dead, and not just those that would be inscribed.
"I want to commend the Commander for the work which has been done, and the other post commanders for their help also. Every post has had input on this project. We will begin the process of seeking funding, and we would also like to encourage any private groups who wish to help, to donate what they can," said Commissioner Hatch.
Commissioners Gary Kofford and Drew Sitterud went on to echo their appreciation to the people who have worked on this project to date. Commissioner Sitterud said, "This is a great project and we appreciate all you have done."
Commissioner Kofford added, "I like it. This has been a lot of work, and this is a fitting tribute for those who have served their country."
Commander Quinn went on to say, "This has been a lot of work, but it is worth every minute. This tribute will be to all veterans, not only those who paid the ultimate price for their country."
Commissioner Sitterud invited Commander Quinn to attend the Museum of the San Rafael board meetings to continue to plan the project. A plot of land near the museum is being considered for the location of the monument. The commissioners voted to approve the project, and to seek funding and finalize a location for the monument project.
In other business heard by the commissioners, two items concerning Emery County roads were discussed. The first road was the Moore cut-off road. Commissioner Hatch requested approval of the cooperative agreement between Emery County and the Utah Department of Transportation for design engineering reimbursement on that road. The commission approved this agreement and Commissioner Hatch stated this would ensure funding to complete the entire length of the Moore Road including paving. The project should be complete in two-three years.
Commissioner Hatch also informed the commission concerning Goblin Valley Road. Funding has been firmed up for the next phase of the entrance road, and the remaining projects are at the top of the STIP list for 2009 and 2010.
Another item concerning transportation was discussed. Commissioner Hatch said a proposal has come to the state legislature to increase sale tax by one-quarter cent. This money will be aimed mostly at the Wasatch Front and will not help rural Utah. He stated that Senator Orrin Hatch is trying to tweak the bill to give help to rural roads.
The next commission meeting will be held Oct. 3 at 9 a.m.