CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — After years of deliberation, the city of Carl Junction is ready to move forward with the construction of a veterans memorial in Memorial Park.
The City Council recently reviewed the proposal and unanimously agreed to put the project out for bid.
The memorial will be built on the east side of Memorial Park along Summit Street and will feature a round concrete base for easy access, seven flag poles, seven bronze medallions and plaques, four park benches, lights and landscaping. The bronze medallions will be placed directly behind the corresponding flag for each military branch.
Allgeier, Martin and Associates Inc. drafted the preliminary specifications for the memorial and included sketches, the overall site plan and the project’s price tag. The engineering firm estimated the total project will cost about $34,227.
Steve Lawver, city administrator, said the idea for the project has been tossed around for at least a decade but was never fully pursued.
“It was never given the priority status that it should have been given,” he said. “We never accumulated funds to do it. We always had the thought that this was going to be tremendously expensive and we would have to save for it.”
Pat Smith, a former councilwoman, pitched the idea for a veterans memorial in the early 2000s. She spent years researching other monuments in nearby cities such as Pittsburg, Kansas, and Webb City, but the project never came to fruition.
“I’m glad to see it coming to the forefront,” Smith told the Globe. “It will be something great for Carl Junction.”
The city has slowly been preparing for a veterans memorial over the years, putting in drainage systems, removing trees and adding gravel at Memorial Park. Lawver said the city has saved up enough money to move forward with the memorial and has budgeted $50,000. A majority of the funds will be taken out of the capital improvement fund.
“Back then, we were on a cash basis, but now we’re on an accrual system,” Lawver said. “An accrual system allows us to build up funds like a savings account when we designate different things. That started about five years ago.”
Everett and Bess Shira donated the property for Memorial Park to the city, and it has been dedicated to the Carl Junction military service members who served in World War I and II.
Lawver said the city would like to continue more drainage work on the property and have a place for parking. The goal is to have most of the project, if not all, completed by Veterans Day in November.
The Carl Junction City Council also recently agreed to sign and adopt the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge, which is an effort by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Wildlife Federation to promote the restoration of milkweed and nectar plants to feed monarch butterflies on their migratory routes. The city will move forward with Liberty Utilities-Empire District’s plan to create a wildflower prairie park near the wastewater facility on Joplin Street to benefit pollinators. The council also passed an ordinance renaming the plot to Mammoth Prairie Park. The name was chosen because a mammoth fossil was discovered west of the location in the 1800s.