Farmington Council considers $10,000 memorial donation
Organizers hope to begin construction in June
Farmington City Council members agreed at an April 30 retreat to meet with Farmington-area Veterans Memorial organizers to discuss a $10,000 donation from the city.
The memorial is to be located in Rambling River Park, and the city has agreed to provide electricity and maintenance for the monument.
While council members indicated support to provide another $10,000 for the memorial, they also want assurance the project is not left half-built on city park property without funds to complete it.
In an interview with Sun Thisweek, Leon Orr, chair of the Farmington-area Veterans Memorial organization, said it has about $90,000 to $100,000 pledged for the memorial.
The project is estimated to cost about $150,000 to $190,000 and will rely on donated materials and labor.
Orr said he anticipates beginning construction in June and opening the memorial on Memorial Day in 2013, noting that he wants it to get going quickly so interest in the project does not wane.
Council members wanted assurance that financing is solid before donating city funds.
“If it takes another year of fundraising, so be it,” Farmington Mayor Todd Larson said.
City Administrator Dave McKnight told Sun Thisweek that the council will likely meet with project organizers in a workshop later this month.
Another issue project promoters face is how to pay for insurance that could cost about $5,000 to cover volunteer workers.
The memorial is planned to include a granite wall engraved with the names of fallen service men and women from Farmington and the surrounding townships beneath the words, “All gave some, some gave all.”
A blue granite sculpture of a folded American flag is planned at the top of the wall, and facing it is planned a full-size statue of a saluting solder wearing a helmet and backpack.
An American flag is to flank one side of the monument and a POW/MIA flag is to fly on the other.
Orr said the display will also include a bulletin board featuring historical stories from the Dakota County Tribune about local soldiers.
McKnight said the city would obtain funds for the donation from $141,000 it has in budget reserves.
Orr is also asking the townships of Eureka, Empire and Castle Rock to donate $2,000 for benches.
The townships earlier declined the organization’s request to each donate $10,000.
“We’re not trying to be pushy about it,” Orr said. “We’re just trying to give them the opportunity to be a part of it.”