Veterans alliance proposes war memorial at Crest Lake Park

CLEARWATER – The Tampa Bay Veterans Alliance has asked the city to share in the cost of building a Veterans War Memorial, estimated at $300,000, at Crest Lake Park.
If the city council agrees to a memorandum of understanding tonight, the alliance will initiate a campaign to raise its share, $150,000, with the city matching that contribution.
According to city cultural affairs specialist Christopher Hubbard, the veterans alliance estimates that raising its portion would take 18 to 24 months. The funding would have to be secured by Jan. 1, 2016 or the agreement with the city would terminate.
The alliance previously obtained support and approval from the Skycrest Neighborhood Association, representing a neighborhood adjacent to the park. The alliance also obtained support from the Clearwater Arts Alliance and the Clearwater Public Art and Design Board, according to the city agenda.
The circular pedestrian memorial plaza would be constructed of pavers or concrete. Proposed seats and bench-height walls displaying veteran and donor recognition plaques would be positioned at various spots around the perimeter of the plaza. The plaza would also display flags from each of the five branches of the military.
A detailed engineering design and construction agreement would be presented for approval once the money was raised. An affirmative vote would mean the city would undertake permitting, construction and maintenance of the project.
If the first phase of the project is built, the veterans alliance would consider a second phase to add sculptures depicting veterans from World War II through the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
 “I think the redesign of Crest Lake Park is overdue,” Councilmember Jay Polglaze said. “This is a good start and a great design.”
The city council meets at 6 tonight in its chambers in city hall, 112 S. Osceola Ave. Citizens may address agenda items, or they may speak at the beginning of the meeting on issues not on the agenda.
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