With the resurgence of the city’s paying homage to its roots, a Chippewa Falls resident noticed one aspect of recognition was being missed.
Scott Sullivan, a Chippewa Falls native, proposed a living military veterans memorial to honor veterans in the city.
“The older you get, the more you realize how important veterans are to their communities and how important it is to honor them,” Sullivan said. “There are a lot of great military folks no one knows about because the good ones don’t always come back, or aren’t looking for recognition.”
Sullivan himself found that out when he found a photo in his grandma’s scrapbook of his own uncle, Dennis, who was a retired brigadier general in the U.S. Air Force.
The memorial he proposed includes two phases, the first of which would dedicate local bridges to veterans with a simple sign indicating the name and the veteran’s position and create plaques that could go in a park with a brief history of the veteran’s service and biography.
A second phase would include the living memorial, honoring the number of veterans from Chippewa Falls who served, were killed in action, received medals or honors. The idea is to honor those who served with simple, meaningful recognition.
“A living memorial means it needs to go on long after we’re all dead,” Sullivan said. “Hopefully no future conflicts but if there are this could be easily added on to.”
He estimates the project could cost anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000, but there will be no cost to taxpayers or the city. Sullivan said he and other interested parties will be covering the costs.
He proposed the memorial to go in Allen Park, to help serve as an entrance to the city. Ultimately, that would be up to the city council, if they choose to approve the project, which they will take up at a future meeting.
SEH proposes funding
Council approved Short Elliot Hendrickson, Inc., the company who is completing the Chippewa Riverfront, to complete a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Grant for potential funding for the park’s proposed restroom facility.
Jayson Smith, city planner, said the restrooms would be an eligible expense for the DNR’s Stewardship Program, which would cover 50 percent of the costs if the city receives the grant.
“It’s not going to be inexpensive, that’s a pretty sizeable building that’s going to be built,” Smith said.
Smith estimates the bathrooms could cost around $400,000, of which the grant would match half.
The restrooms are part of the second phase of the park, which is being funded through donations from the Current Campaign. With a goal of raising $2 million, Smith said they are just over $1.7 million currently.
“Getting a $200,000 grant for this project would put us over the top,” he said.
The city would have to pay a total of $6,000 to SEH if the grant is approved.
Lake Wissota Business Park
The Council also approved two resolutions to discontinue a portion of Lakeland Drive and Lake Wissota Drive, both in the Lake Wissota Business Park.
The resolutions regard two portions of roads Hoffman said were never built. It allows the city to revert it to open lots, in preparation for a potential future development in the park.
“Things change, needs change,” Hoffman said.
Council held another meeting in closed session Tuesday night to discuss tax increment financing district 14 to create a developer’s agreement.
Resolutions for portions of both streets were approved unanimously.