Veterans Memorial unfinished as holiday approaches
By Gary Lloyd
The Veterans Memorial in Trussville’s Civitan Park was supposed to be completed and unveiled on Memorial Day 2012.
It was not.
Consistent issues with a greenways project in Civitan Park and the area surrounding the monument itself have delayed its completion and dedication. The park is currently encircled by a security fence while the greenways project is completed.
Trussville City Clerk Lynn Porter said last week that Mayor Gene Melton received something from the Alabama Department of Transportation about possibly separating the area around the Veterans Memorial from the rest of the park project. Melton couldn’t be reached for comment Friday or Tuesday.
The memorial will include the names of about 170 veterans. The new plates with the names are in storage and all names since the last engraving will be added before it is actually put up. The city doesn’t want the plates to go up while construction in the area is ongoing.
Construction of the five-sided memorial, which is more than 30 feet tall, began in the summer of 2011. It had been designed by Nimrod Long and Associates. Local veterans were able to have their names, branches of service, rank, war or conflict, awards, whether or not the veteran died in combat, discharge date and contributor’s name for $100.
The project was the undertaking of Venie Payne, who for years pushed for the construction of a veterans memorial. She died in February.
It was announced in June that the contractor for the $1.7 million Civitan Park project, Burnett Civil Contracting, was no longer on the job and ALDOT was seeking a replacement contractor. Part of the project Burnett Civil Contracting was to complete included the parking lot and pavers around the memorial.
Melton spent much of this year’s Memorial Day weekend at Civitan Park as crews from ALDOT worked to address the problems the Alabama Department of Environmental Management listed in a project status report. Trussville could have faced a $50,000 fine had the problems not been corrected, which they were.
Prior to that, several Trussville residents at a May Trussville City Council meeting asked about the project’s status. One called the area surrounding the memorial a “disgrace.”
There is no set timeframe for when the memorial will be completed and dedicated.
Veterans Day is Monday.
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.