Visitors to Chatfield City Park may see a new memorial to veterans erected in the future. Members of the Chatfield American Legion Post 197 had addressed the park and recreation committee about the construction of a memorial to be added to the memorial site in the park, which includes a war memorial, flagpole and cannon.
Jerry Baudoin was present at the regular city council meeting on Monday, Nov. 12, to explain the details of the memorial and answer questions from the council.
Baudoin explained the memorial would ideally have the name of every Chatfield veteran dating back to the War of 1812. To the council, he shared that current plans would only allow them to start with World War II veterans, which Baudoin said he didn't want. He expressed a desire to come up with different plans and present them to the council at a later date. Revised plans would not change the layout of the memorial site, but include a larger monument for names.
Current plans for the memorial site would also require the site of the flagpole to be moved. Baudoin said the present war memorial might even need to be set back.
Councilman Ken Jacobson called the memorial a "great idea" and suggested the American Legion check with the VFW to get their ideas on where the memorial should go in the park.
Baudoin said the VFW had the plans, but had no problem with moving the flagpole. Jacobson said he didn't have a problem with moving the flagpole, but thought moving the war memorial would be tougher.
"We wouldn't even want to attempt it," shared City Superintendent Tony Lammers explaining the difficulty city crews would have in properly shifting the memorial.
Councilman Robert Pederson interjected that the current memorial may have been dedicated at its site, which would also have to be addressed.
Councilman Dave Frank said the park and recreation committee had instantly been in favor of the idea. "We want to make sure that it's done properly," he said also mentioning that qualifications would need to be determined for who could be included on the memorial.
Councilman Novotny said it would need to be considered to have additional space for future names.
Baudoin said they were initially looking at getting the memorial completed during the spring, but said the idea wouldn't have to move that quickly.
The council approved a motion to direct the American Legion and VFW to draft revised plans for a new memorial.
Committee and council reports
Young reported in the personnel/budget committee report that it was time to adjust pay grades for employees and the city wouldn't be seeing any issues of that reflected in their budget.
Novotny reported on the public works committee meeting. He said additional representatives from WSB & Associates engineering firm, which had merged with McGhie & Betts, had visited. Young mentioned it was recommended that the city stay with WSB for the year to see what they can do.
Smith announced that City Safety Coordinator Susan Kester had received, on behalf of the city employees, the Governor's Award in occupational safety. Smith read a letter from Governor Mark Dayton and congratulated Kester.
Young reported on the annual legislative forum which will commence at 5 p.m. on Nov. 26. This is when the school board and legislators that represent the school district meet with the council and discuss legislative action that should be taken in the coming session. The council also approved city staff to draft the 2014 Fee Ordinance.
In other business, the council approved the final development agreement for the EZ Fabricating project, which will see their business expand.
The council also approved a land conveyance from the city to the Economic Development Authority, which consists of the property along Twiford Street where the city garage is located. There is a developer interested in acquiring the property. The EDA owns several adjacent properties, which will also be sold to the developer. The city approved the conveyance which will allow the EDA to more easily sell all land parcels together.
Approval was obtained to apply all unpaid utilities for the past year to property tax collections.
During the roundtable discussion, several council members expressed their congratulations to the Chatfield football team, who had continued to advance in the state tournament.