Although the concept of a 9/11 Tribute Memorial has been worked out on paper, the best place to situate the memorial in Lamar is still up for consideration. Doug Harbour, from the Tribute Committee, presented the Prowers County Commissioners with an artist’s representation of the memorial and discussed options with them. Two choices are the open land by the ballparks at the intersection of Savage and South Main Streets and at Bicentennial Park.
According to Harbour, both sites come with advantages and some potential drawbacks. A decision is pending in order to make a presentation to the El Pomar Foundation for help in funding the project and Harbour wanted to provide an update for the county and listen to their concerns. Harbour explained that visibility from the street would be good at either location, but parking is limited at Bicentennial Park. He added that there may be some drainage and electrical conduit issues at Savage and South Main, but there would be ample parking for visitors. He also wanted to re-affirm that the project could be assisted with in-kind services for portions of the project.
Commissioner Buxton-Andrade favored the location at Savage Avenue, but Commissioner Ron Cook said the city installed a water main through that side of the road several years ago, and another consideration is the land was deeded to the county to be used for recreation. He suggested exploring that site with county attorney, John Lefferdink and set up a meeting between the county and city to discuss the plans. Harbour also questioned the protocols for the actual construction, such as requiring a building permit from the city or county.
“I want this to be an educational project as well as emotional,” he explained, adding, “I’d like to have this as a destination for students to come on field trips and learn about their history and the events of that day and gain some insight into patriotism.” The memorial is planned to display a small scale ambulance and helicopter and would feature statues of a firefighter, EMS Technician, a police officer and a soldier.
By Russ Baldwin
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