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07-23-1996 VETERANS AFFAIRS ADVISORY BOARD CITY OF LAS CRUCES MINUTES OF 23 JULY 1996 The board convened at 1:06 p.m. in the Board Room of the Branigan Memorial Library. Roll call was taken. Present were: Joseph Heintz, Chairman; Warren Rogers, Alternate Chairman & DAV representative; John J. Dewey, representative American Legion; Noel Cooley, representative AMVETS; and Elsa Baker, representative VVA. Joseph Heintz represented VFW. Also present were Mike Milam. Mel Barlow and Darlene Garcia. The June minutes were accepted as written. Elsa Baker reported on the status of the Veterans Park. No action has yet been taken on construction and grading of the area. The three 36" culverts under the parking area which are to be done by the city are unfunded. The work to be done by the Homebuilders Assn. is waiting the construction of the drainage structures which carry the runoff from the areas east of Roadrunner Parkway to the dam ponding area. This will allow the arroyo to be filled for the construction of the parking area. A letter to the mayor and city councilmen requesting funding of this work is attached. The DAV has procured three 15 passenger vans and one mini-van to transport veterans to the VA Medical Center in Albuquerque. The VA is assigning the large vans to Las Cruces, Gallup and Silver City. The mini-van is for Las Vegas. These will replace vans which have exceeded the allowable mileage, all over 200, 000 miles. They are now in Albu- querque where the paperwork to transfer them from the DAV to the VA is being done. At the Fourth of July speech to veterans at Young Park, a female Desert Storm veteran complained to Domenici about medical problems resulting from her service there. He and Joe Heintz talked to her after the speech. She was to get with Joe and prepare her claim and send it through the senator's office for action. The veteran met with Joe and he prepared the necessary paperwork but he needs the letter she got from the VA to complete the package. He has asked her for this but she has not given it to him. Unless she cooperates, his hands are tied. Mel Barlow is continuing his work to get a veterans paper pub- lished monthly in Las Cruces. The Real Estate Press sent out letters requesting information from each organization on their needs and desires to be covered in a paper. The response was minimal. New letters with more detail are being sent out to get action going on this. This will be taken up at the United Veterans Council of Dofta Ana County meeting tonight. The VAAB members are in favor of this paper. The meeting adjourned at 1:45 p.m. The next meeting is 1:00 p.m. 27 August. Warren Rogers Acting Secretary Mayor Ruben Smith City Councilmen City of Las Cruces P.O. Drawer CLC Las Cruces, NM 88004 Dear Mayor Smith and City Councilmen: This letter is to bring your attention to a problem which is currently delaying further progress on the Veterans Memorial Park (to be located on Roadrunner Parkway) . The problem is to find funding to contract out the laying of three 36" concrete pipes along the southern property line to handle the run-off which is presently handled by a deep and wide arroyo. The design of the park was an in-house effort completed by City Landscape Architect, Joni Gutierrez with the assistance of David Flores of her staff. The Homebuilders Association and the Greenhouse, Inc. , have adopted the build- ing of the Veterans Memorial Park as their community project for 1996. In fact, they have been studying the design and making plans to perform the labor necessary to clear the land, build the parking lot, lay in the sprinkler system, seed the grass, lay down the walkways and provide fora monument. The funds already earmarked by the City for the park ($70,000) would be used for materials. In order to take advantage of the Homebuilders Association offer to build the park with currently budgeted funds, a solution to the drainage problem must be found. We respectfully ask that the projects now funded in the Flood Control Budget be reviewed to see if there is either a lower priority project or one that is having trouble meeting its schedule. If so, the funds ($200,000) could be reprogrammed to the drainage project associated with the Veterans Memorial Park. We would appreciate your attention to this matter of importance to the veterans of Las Cruces. Respectfully, (signature) (title) (organization) (date)