Mayor talks with local vets about memorial

By Barbie Porter


Vergas City Mayor Julie Bruhn did her homework when it came to getting public input on the proposed veteran memorial park.

The park was requested to be built on city land, first at Peterson Park and then near the ballfields. The memorial would stretch 62 feet from end to end. Granite pillars would be installed and each pillar would have an insignia for each branch of the military. A flag for each branch would be installed as would the U.S. Flag.

A veterans memorial is located at the Vergas Cemetery. Some residents suggested enhancing that memorial in early discussions.

After information about  the park was in the newspaper, opposition to the park’s location came to the forefront of discussion. The council was presented with a petition opposing the park. The petition had 76 signatures, six of which were stated to be veterans.

During the Vergas City Council meeting on Tuesday, May 11, Bruhn said she reached out to a random sample of petition signers, and learned those individuals were veterans and knew what they were signing. She informed the council that she also visited with several long-time residents of the community who are veterans. She noted four did not have their names on the petition.

Bruhn explained that the most noted issue was the location and the second most common comment was requiring veterans or families to pay to have their name added to the memorial could be a hindrance. 

She offered to provide the veteran park committee with her notes from the conversations she had. The group accepted the offer.

Members of the veteran’s memorial park committee said similar memorials in surrounding communities are by highways and railroad tracks and questioned why the location was an issue. It was stated the park board suggested the ballfield, then, the council was asked if there were other locations that could be considered within city limits.

The council also approved a policy requiring a specific form be filled out to be considered for projects on city land. The veteran’s group was asked to fill out the information and submit it to the city. The group was also reminded that a construction permit needed to be filed and paid for before the project would be reviewed by the planning commission or council.