Lake residents question veterans memorial
A roomful of Marion County Lake residents filled chairs at a county commission meeting Monday to ask questions and air complaints about a planned veterans’ memorial at the lake.
Lake resident Byron Lange, apparently acting as spokesman for the group, asked why more information about the memorial had not been released.
“I think where we want to start is there hasn’t been a lot of information disseminated,” Lange said.
He asked what guidelines existed for building the memorial.
Another lake resident said developers had not presented a plan to the county planning and zoning commission.
County counsel Brad Jantz said the Marion VFW post had been discussing developing a veterans’ park for a long time.
“In this case, do they still have to go to planning and zoning? Absolutely, yes,” Jantz said.
Jantz said that so far, the plan is conceptual only.
Another lake resident asked what would happen when the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, or the American Legion want a memorial too. If the county sets a precedent, it might not be able to say no.
Jantz said each request would be handled individually.
Lake residents also questioned the location of the future memorial.
“Who made the decision to put it at that particular spot?” one asked. “There are a lot of other spots.”
Commissioner David Crofoot said, “I’ll take the blame for that.”
He said he had suggested that spot because it had a circle drive around it and is kept mowed, so it would not add to the mowing staff must perform.
Jantz said no final commitment had been given. “All of that is still in process,” he said.
One man said the memorial would be an “inconsistent use” with the recreational purpose of the lake.
He recounted the history of the lake and how the federal government was involved in building it.
Jantz said he didn’t know that this would be “inconsistent use” of recreational property.
Representatives from Prairie View answered commissioners’ questions after their request for $94,403 from the county was postponed two weeks ago. They ended up getting $93,000 instead.
Two weeks ago, when commissioners initially reviewed the mental health agency’s request to increase its budget from the previous year, commissioner Randy Dallke said he’d heard it sometimes was difficult for authorities to get needed services from Prairie View and he’d like to have the agency explain what the county was getting.
Commissioner Kent Becker mentioned how a woman had to be guarded by police in a county hospital because she needed mental health treatment. “We don’t have enough deputies as it is,” Becker said.