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11-24-1998 CITY OF LAS CRUCES VETERANS AFFAIRS ADVISORY BOARD 24 NOVEMBER 1998 The VAAB met at 1300 this date in the conference room of city hall . Roll Call was taken. The following were present: Chairman Joe Heintz, Vice Chairman Warren Rogers, Vietnam Vets rep Elsa Baker, VFW rep Robert Wiley, AMVETS rep Noel Cooley, and DAV rep Fred Frank. This constituted a quorum. Also present were Senator Bingaman' s rep Kelly Smyer, Home Builders Assn. rep Scott Moore, and Jane Etta Lease. Elsa Baker reported on the status of Veterans Memorial Park. She handed out a report on the status . (encl 1 ) . The name of the park was next brought up. It is being called Veterans Memorial Community Park in the Sur. News . There is no objection to this . Scott Moore said that the completed cost of the park would be $600, 000 to $650, 000. The Home Builders Assn. hopes to under price and overdeliver their work. They want it to be a great project with no complaints . There will be handicapped accessibility including the children' s playground. Scott got the county to donate $2500 to the project . The Home Builders Association agreed to sponsor the ground breaking ceremony at 10 : 00 a.m. December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day. Jane Etta Lease discussed an increase the Joint Chief of Staff ' s proposed in the military budget. She showed some correspondence from Congressman Joe Skeen' s office written by a retired Army sergeant who gives a sad but true account of his perceptions of the problems in the military. The VVA rep Elsa Baker submitted a request that Walt Baker, President of VVA, be designated to fill the vacant position of alternate representative of the VVA on the board. Chairman Heintz requested that the VVA send a letter to the mayor requesting this appointment. Kelly Smyer announced that Senator Bingaman was holding a meeting in Las Cruces . Joe Heintz, Warren Rogers and Fred Frank of the VAAB were designated to discuss veterans affairs on 16 December at City Hall with him. The responsibility for the Veterans Day Parade was discussed. This parade has been sponsored by the VAAB in the past. There is an opinion that it should come under the United Veterans Council of Dona Ana County. Since the UVC declined this responsibility in the past it was recommended that the VAAB continue to handle the event. There will be no meeting in December. The next meeting will be 26 January 1999. Warren Rogers, Acting Secretary Encl . a/s 24 November 1998 Veterans Memorial Park. The Las Cruces City Council met on November 16, 1998 and passed two resolutions concerning Veterans Park. Resolution 99-178 added $193,000 to the 1998/99 budget appropriation of $117,000 bringing the total for the park to $310,000. Resolution . 99-179 authorizes the Mayor and City staff to enter into contract with the Home Builders Association to build the park. The resolutions were combined for voting purposes and the package received unanimous approval of all City Councilmen. Provisions included in the agreement include one that requires that the work be completed in 210 working days (roughly 10!j months) . It also specifies that the work shall be done to the satisfaction of the City, under the direction of the Landscape Architect. Mr. Erikson, Chief of Development Services, briefed the Council using a diagram that varies slightly from the last one that we were provided. On the new diagram, the restrooms are near Roadrunner Expressway. Mr. George Rosson of the Home Builders Association also briefed the Council and highlighted the following aspects: The playground would be handicapped accessible There would be a 15' diameter gazebo There will be two arbors (for shade) The bathrooms will be all concrete There will be a basic amphitheater There will be a stage in front of the gazebo There will be 60 parking spaces to include handicapped access There will be concrete sidewalks There will be a rock fence along the north border There will be grass and a sprinkler system There will be garbage cans There will be lighting Councilman Tommy Tomlin questioned the lighting. No provision had been made to run electricity to the gazebo or flagpoles. There was agreement that this needed to be done even if it requires a change order to the contract. Developer, Eddie Binns then made a point that the Home Builders are not necessarily in the park building business, They do want to help the City make its resources go farther. He would like the help of the City Councillors and the Veterans. f One of the important aspects of this agreement is that the $310,000 will be used to provide materials to build the park. The labor and equipment will be provided gratis by the Home Builders Association. The Home Builders Association has contacted me concerning a groundbreaking ceremony. They would like to conduct a groundbreaking ceremony on Pearl Harbor Day, 7 December 1998 at LOAM. They would like a Pearl Harbor survivor to represent the veterans in addition to a representative from the City and the Home Builders. The Home Builders Association was given the name of the Pearl Harbor Survivors local President, William "Bill" Otto. The Pearl Harbor survivors were instrumental in getting the Veterans Park momentum started when they approached the City for a site to build a small monument. The Home Builders Association would like to finish the park by Memorial Day 1999. Their back-up date is Independence Day 1999. They want the dedica- tion to be on a day meaningful to Veterans. They want our opinion. Recent references to the park have labeled it Veterans Park. Should I drop the nomenclature Veterans Memorial Park? The project of getting price and availability estimates for the medallions to be placed on the gazebo/memorial can be started as soon as I meet with the contractor(s) . Elsa J. Baker Veterans Coordinator