At their last meeting the Plattekill Town Board approved a resolution that will authorize the Town Supervisor “to execute and deliver” to New York State an agreement that will allow previously approved grant money from the state to be distributed to the town for additional construction of the Veterans Memorial, across from the Town Park.
Several years ago Plattekill was approved for $150,000 through the New York State Facilities Grant program from NYS Sen. William Larkin. This new agreement sets the stage to move the park forward.
Plattekill Veterans Committee member Lorraine Morano said Albany is responsible for the money being delayed.
“So far we’ve not received a nickel of it yet. Like anything else in government, it takes half of your life to be finished,” she said.
Morano said she and her son, who is in the construction field, reviewed the items that are being considered for the memorial. They believe they have whittled down the costs to a more manageable and realistic level. Initial estimates for the Veterans Memorial topped $300,000.
“They wanted a fountain and I said absolutely not because that’s going to take a lot of maintenance and it cost $10,000,” she said. “There are still some things that I don’t believe are necessary…We’re probably not going to come close to needing half of that [grant] money.”
Morano said from 2011 to 2015 the site was cleared and earth work, soil erosion and sediment control was done. A sub-base for the driveway and parking area was also added. She said this work cost a total of $27,000 and was paid for through fundraisers and with private donations. In addition, donations also paid for the stone obelisk and the stone benches and flags from the different branches of the military that have already been installed.
There are plans to place wheel-stops in the parking lot, have concrete sidewalk areas ($60,000), reconstruct a stone wall ($15,000), include stone seat walls with coping ($32,200) and have an entrance way along Patura Road ($6,000). She said these estimates are quite high and believes much of the work can be done for half of these totals and some of it, such as the stone wall work, could be done by the Boy Scouts. She questions how many of the wish list items are really necessary because the true meaning of any memorial is to honor the service and sacrifices of Veterans.
“You’re making this memorial out of respect for the Veterans who are going to go to the park or to honor those who have lost their lives for us,” she said.
Morano said once the committee uses the rest of their own funds the town will begin tapping the grant money, which she said will probably be released in stages.
Morano expects the town’s Veterans Committee will meet after the new year to discuss and review what they want to see built at the Memorial Park. She is hoping it will be completed by next summer.
“Its going to be wonderful; its a really nice park,” she said.
By Mark Reynolds