NSP Veterans Park fundraising continues


The new Veterans Memorial Park will be located at the site of the former Cannon Park at the northeast corner of Highway 36 and Margaret Street. (Tim Faklis/Review)

Planners report paver sales making big impact

Although the start of construction work on the new Veterans Park in North St. Paul is still months away, the number of brick pavers sold to help finance the effort has gone up significantly this summer.

In late May, the Veterans Memorial Park Foundation had sold 389 individual pavers. Just a month later, the committee members reported at the June 30 North St. Paul City Council meeting that they had now sold 425 pavers.

The brick stones will be engraved with the names of veterans and the U.S. military branches and installed at the site of the former Cannon Park, at the northeast corner of the Highway 36 and Margaret Street.

Entering the meeting, proceeds from the paver sales were around $97,000. That figure was extremely close to the $100,000 goal, which is the amount that the state would match if it were ultimately met.

The request for state matching funds was introduced by state Sen. Chuck Wiger, DFL-Maplewood, and state Rep. Leon Lillie, DFL-North St. Paul, and approved during the last legislative session.

Also on June 30, the city council accepted price quotes from a pair of companies -- ColdSpring to supply the granite and wall panels, along with the greeters statue, and Acme Brick to provide the brick pavers and additional paving for the project.

Mayor Mike Kuehn said, “We had another meeting on this yesterday with myself, Terry Furlong, Dan Fisher, the city manager (Jason Ziemer), and Representative Lillie. This is something we’re learning as we go; this is very unique. It’s something that was started by the veterans committee; a lot of private funds have been raised. It’s a city thing, but the veterans organizations, god bless them, they’ve done so many things already.”

The North St. Paul American Legion Post No. 39, VFW Post No. 1350, North High Air Force JROTC and the city are cooperating on the project, which will be a public memorial to military veterans and their loved ones.

It’s still unclear when construction will begin, but the hope is to start it by the end of 2014, or the spring of 2015.

“The enthusiasm to continue this project in a timely manner is what we’re looking for,” said Dan Fisher, a committee member. “At every opportunity, people are asking ‘what’s going on’? When you don’t have a good story to tell, it doesn’t sound good to our own ears.”

Still, Fisher expressed happiness that the council accepted the quotes from ColdSpring and Acme Brick, which he said was an obvious sign of progress on a project that has been going on since early 2011.

You can reach Tim Faklis at 651-748-7814, at tfaklis@lillienews.com, or on Twitter @tfaklisnews.

 

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