Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

Pubic hearing draws a crowd

 


Pine Bluffs Town Hall was a full house for the town meeting’s public hearing for the Veterans Memorial Project Monday night.

Larry Silvey, a Pine Bluffs businessman and Korean War veteran, has proposed a Veterans Memorial that will sit across the street from the town hall and on the north side of the Leonard J. Anderson Commerce Building on Main Street. The public hearing was to consider supporting a Community Enhancement Grant application for the Veterans Memorial Project.

Anja Bendel, Director of Business Development from Cheyenne LEADS, began the public hearing. Bendel said her role in the project is to work with Silvey and Jeanie Vetter, project designer, on pulling all the grant information together. The total value of the Veterans Memorial Project is $252,000, Bendel said. The Wyoming Business Council will provide 50 percent of the funds and the community of Pine Bluffs will provide the remaining 50 percent.

The council has donated $30,000, which is being brought forth through a grant application. The application will be submitted to Laramie County at the end of November, then it will go to the state.

Four bronze statues to represent the four major military branches will go into the memorial. The statues cost around $60,000 and 50 percent of the cost will be donated. The land where the memorial will sit has also been donated by Silvey to the town.

Bendel said the final grant application will be turned into the state on Dec. 1, then it will go through a process where it will be heard by the Wyoming Business Council. If the grant is approved, then it will be seen by the Wyoming State Loan and Investment Board, which are the top five elected officials of the state: Secretary of State, Treasurer, Auditor, Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Governor. If the grant is approved by this board, then the project can begin.

The final approval should take place sometime in June 2015. Construction and contract documents should be ready around Aug. 1, 2015, and construction should begin around Oct. 1, 2015. If construction is not finished by winter, then it will come to a halt and pick back up in the spring of 2016. The project should be completed by the end of April 2016.

“This is really a community project,” Silvey said. “The community project is first and foremost for the veterans. The project also includes space for community activities for meetings, celebrations, holidays, school dances, whatever ... the memorial is designed not only for the veterans but also for the people who support the veterans.”

Silvey said there will be a few changes to the memorial. He said Pine Bluffs has water that is not healthy for marble. The water will discolor and deteriorate the marble. Silvey said he will use granite, which will help save some money, and it still looks good. There will be a Wall of Thanks for all the people who contributed to the project and the storage unit will be added later down the road.

Silvey said the memorial was planned so there would be little to no maintenance. However, some veterans from the Louis E. Canady American Legion Post 60 offered to keep the memorial clean and help with any flag raising ceremonies.

Kent Grace, of Pine Bluffs, said he was the Director of the veterans hospital in Cheyenne and one in Oregan. Grace said he was excited when he saw the article in the newspaper about the project.

“This is a wonderful project,” Grace said. “It’s one we do not see very often in our society to help remember and honor our nation’s veterans.”

Grace said the memorial project is fitting and proper. He would like to encourage the council to support it.

The Council approved supporting the Community Enhancement Grant application for the Veterans Memorial Project.

The council continued the meeting by approving the agenda along with the consent agenda. The board also reappointed Councilman Alan Curtis to sit on the Eastern Laramie County Joint Powers Board. Next, the Mayor proposed to keep himself, the town’s deputy clerk and treasurer as the signees to Farmers State Bank and Point West Bank accounts and Wyo Star savings.

In visitor comments, County Commissioner Troy Thompson said he is very excited about the Veterans Memorial. Thompson also said the fifth penny sales tax and lodging tax were both approved in the general election on Nov. 4, and a water committee has been formed, which Pine Bluffs’ Mayor is sitting on.

Thompson informed the council and visitors the Eternal Flame Monument, that sits on the side of the court house in Cheyenne, went out. On Veterans Day, Cheyenne Light, Fuel and Power ran a new gas line to the monument and the eternal flame was lit. Thompson said hopefully this time it will be eternal.

Also in the audience were Michelle McCormack and Wanda Theobald’s Pine Bluffs Elementary students.

“Nothing sounds better than a group of kids saying the pledge of allegiance,” Thompson said about the visiting elementary students. “I was proud to be a part of that.”

In department reports, Councilman Tom Mohren thanked Texas Trail Market for their annual movie night on Friday. Mohren said there were about 100 viewers.

The Mayor said the water committee has planned to have their meetings on the first and third Monday of the month. He said he’s going to have to miss out on some town council meetings. The council supports his decision.

Councilman Mike Ragsdale said there have been some problems at the RV park due to the cold weather.

In the executive session, the council hired two positions. Amy Thurston for the Daycare and Jeff Armstrong for Parks.

Carleen Graves, Clerk, said the Town Hall will be closed Friday, Nov. 28, and the next town meeting will be Tuesday Dec. 2.

 

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