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09-22-1998 `� r VETE S AFFAIRS ADVISORY B4RD CITY OF LAS CRUCES P .O. DRAWER 2000 LAS CRUCES , NEW MEXICO 88004 22 Sept 1999 The board convened at 1300 in the Board Room cf Branigan Memorial Library. Roll call was taken. Present were : Chairman Joseph Heintz, Vice Chairman_ Warren Rogers, VVA rep Elsa Baker, VFW rep Robert Wiley, American Legion rep Gaston Mungia. This constituted a quorum. Also present were Louise Rutledge of Sen Domenici' s office and Donna McClanahan of Rep Joe Skeen' s office. The minutes of 'Last month' s meeting were approved Reports of Committees# Elsa Baker reported that the City and the Home Builders Assn have not yet reached an agreement on the terms of the contract between the city and the association. Report on the current status of negotiations is at encl 1 . Chairman Joe Heintz discussed the latest items of interest published in the Jul-,;--Sept issue of ARMY ECHOS, a publication circulated for Army retirees to keep them informed of legislation affecting them. These were the latest changes in Tricare, (new medical care program for retirees). Benefits of surviving spouses of deceased veterans who lost their benefits upon remarriage, now may be eligible for restored benefits if they are no longer married. Increases in some veterans benefits, and some changes in the cemetery construction program. Warren Rogers announced the annual "Forget-Me-Not" fund drive of the Disabled American Veterans on Saturday 24 October in Las Cruces, the Veteran' s Day Parade in Las Cruces on 7 November, and the dedication of the Mesilla Veterans Park on 11 November. The meeting adjourned at 1400 . Next meeting will be 27 October. WG0.n,n,Z-A RorA Acting Secretary End: A/S United Veterans Council September 8, 1998 Veterans Memorial Park. The City of Las Cruces is still in negotiations with the Home Builders Association over the contract for the Veterans Memorial Park. City Landscape Architect, Joni Gutierrez will meet with Mr Nava, City Manager, or. September 17th to get his concurrence on the contract. It is uncertain at this point, when the contract will go before the City Council. Since there is not enough money in the City budget to complete the entire park this year, priority will be given to building the Greek style gazebo/monument and the amphitheater portions of the park first, followed by the remainder of the park in future years. The City of Las Cruces and the Home Builders Association are together making the Veterans Memorial Park a very special project. The City is initially devoting $139,000 toward the project and the Home Builders Association is donating labor possibly worth twice that amount. The -City Landscape Architect, Joni Gutierrez initially came to the United Veterans Council of DonaPAna County and asked us what we wanted by way of a veterans park. We discussed ideas one of which was to have one central round Greek style monument upon which veterans organizations could place a medallion with their emblem. This was considered preferable to each organization trying to build its own monument at the park. Through the United Veterans Council, and later the Veterans Affairs Advisory Board to the Mayor, appeals were made for descriptions or drawings of what the veterans wanted in their park. Having been UVC Secretary and having sat in on the park discussions from the beginning, Elsa Baker prepared a sketch which included a Greek style gazebo/monument, grass, roses, static displays, picnic area, parking lot and restrooms. This plan and others were compared and the Veterans Affairs Advisory Board selected the plan submitted by Elsa Baker. Over the years, the static displays were deleted but the amphitheater was added. A lot of time was spent surveying the original piece of land and designing a park to fit it. When it was realized by the City Manager, Mr Zaldo, that the original piece of land was too marginal for the Veterans Memorial Park, the devel- oper, Mr. Binns, was contacted to add an adjoining piece of better land so that the funding available for the park could be spent on the park fixtures and not on flood control for an arroyo. The Veterans Memorial Park will be much more than an average Las Cruces City park. Let your City Councilman know that you are for it! Elsa J. Baker Veteran Coordinator