Veterans memorial construction under wayA group of local veterans received a helping hand from the city this month to ensure their goal of building Woodbury’s first official veterans memorial.
By: Hank Long, Woodbury Bulletin
A group of local veterans received a helping hand from the city this month to ensure their goal of building Woodbury’s first official veterans memorial.
The Woodbury City Council voted Oct. 8 to approve an agreement between the city and the Woodbury Lions Veterans Memorial Council to loan the group up to $266,000 to construct a memorial on the northeast corner of the city hall property just off Valley Creek Road and Radio Drive.
The terms of the loan includes a five-year payback period at a 5-percent interest rate. The loan will commence upon completion of the construction of the memorial, said city administrator Clint Gridley.
“It’s a pretty straightforward agreement,” Gridley said. “And the feeling is that this is a very worthwhile project.”
The city also donated a $25,000 grant to the project, which was an outstanding gift State Farm gave to the city for a clock tower project that the city never pursued.
“We wrote to State Farm and asked if we could use the gift to fund the Veterans Memorial and they gave us the OK,” Gridley said.
Project architect and Veterans Memorial Council board member Dick Krumm said the total cost of the project will be $350,000. The group plans to pay for project by selling engraved pavers to veterans and families of veterans.
The pavers, which cost $300, will be incorporated into the memorial.
Gridley said the city council and city staff are confident in the group’s ability to pay off the loan. The Veterans Memorial Council is essentially backed by the Woodbury Lions Club, and local American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars clubs.
“The Lions Club’s involvement is positive, and we’re confident the loan will be paid back within the time period,” Gridley said.
To date 125 pavers have been purchased, said Tom Grezek, a Veterans Memorial Council board member.
“Paver subscriptions have been slow, but we’ve done our research and have found that this is typical with these types of projects,” Grezek said. “Once you get something in place and the flags are flying, people are going to see it. We expect to see a rush of people to purchase pavers in time for next Memorial Day.”
In the meantime, the group is sticking to its original plans to have enough of the memorial constructed in time for Veterans Day on Nov. 11, said Veterans Memorial Council member Dick Stafford.
“We’ve been working hard on this project for the last year and it will be exciting to get this thing up and visible,” Stafford said. “And we’re going to do our best to make it a memorial that people will use for events like Memorial Day and Veterans Day.”
Grezek said the veterans organization and the Lions Club plan to hold a Veterans Day event to dedicate the new memorial. The event will take place at 3 p.m. and those who purchased pavers will be notified of the details as they become available.
“We’ll have a band there, some speakers, and I’m pretty confident there will be a substantial number of paver purchaser there,” Grezek said.