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$200,000 the goal for veterans memorial

By Emily Ford
eford@salisburypost.com
The Salisbury Rotary Club wants to build a $200,000 memorial to veterans at City Park and turn it over to the city on Veteran’s Day.
The proposed Military Flag Memorial Concourse is fitting for Salisbury, the home base for three military units, Mayor Susan Kluttz said.
Reid Leonard and Seamus Donaldson of the Salisbury Rotary Club outlined the plan for development of the tribute.
The memorial would stand on the former site of the old armory and feature flags arranged in a semi-circle — six flags on 30-foot poles from the branches of the U.S. military, and one flag on a 35-foot pole representing the United States.
They already have $50,000 in pledges, they told City Council.
The memorial, located at the corner of North Jackson and West Miller streets, would feature walking paths, night lighting and a location for outdoor concerts, Donaldson said.
A brick wall would include the preamble to the U.S. Constitution and quotes from U.S. presidents. The back of the wall would list benefactors and feature the Rotary logo and motto.
The Rotary Club will raise $200,000 for the project, Donaldson said. The club hopes to start construction by June and hold a ceremony at the memorial on Veteran’s Day, turning the property over to the city, which would assume perpetual responsibility.
Mayor Pro Tem Maggie Blackwell said this is the kind of public-private partnership the city needs.
“In this economy and with our budget woes in the city, we are very appreciative of your efforts to beautify our city and honor service personnel,” Blackwell said.
The city faces a $2.7 million budget shortfall next year.
While some people are visionaries and others are implementors, Blackwell told Leonard, “it’s a rare talent to do both.”
Council member Paul Woodson praised the project and noted Leonard also funded the tennis court improvements at City Park.
Leonard said Clay Lindsay of Summit Developers will coordinate and oversee the project, and Charles Taylor of Taylor Clay Products will donate all the brick.
The financially strapped city can’t take on new projects like this right now, Kluttz said.
“During these very difficult times, it is so reassuring to us…that our citizens don’t stop giving,” she said.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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