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Finding a location for a new Memorial

By Staff | May 12, 2019

This lot on the northwest corner of Fifth and Main streets in Blue Earth is under consideration as a location for a new proposed Veterans Memorial. The lot is owned by Adams Ag, located in the building shown here.

At their meeting last Monday night, the Blue Earth City Council agreed to do what they could to help facilitate locating an area for a proposed Veterans Memorial in the city of Blue Earth.

The new memorial has been in the planning stages for a couple of years, and a group has been raising money ever since.

Terry Keithahn first started the project in the summer of 2015. Last year a mock up of the new memorial was presented at the City Council meeting with a request asking if it could be located in Giant Park.

The group had even marked out the plot of the proposed memorial on an area behind and to the left of the Giant statue.

In January, councilman Glenn Gaylord suggested that Giant Park might not be the best location, and the matter was sent to the city’s Park and Rec Committee for further study.

Last Monday night, Gaylord reported the committee had started studying other possible locations for the memorial.

“After some discussion, we came up with two locations we think would be better,” Gaylord, who is also a member of the committee, said. “Our first choice is the empty lot on the corner of Fifth and Main streets.”

Gaylord said the Veterans Memorial group agreed it could be a good location, and had done some measuring and the proposed memorial would fit in that space.

The lot in question is owned by Adams Ag. City administrator Tim Ibisch reported he had been talking to the owners and they would be interested in making some type of deal on the property, including the possibility of donating it.

The city had once owned the lot after having demolished the buildings located there. They offered it up for sale by bids, and the business Southern Jack’s, which was once in the building where Adams Ag is now located, was the successful bidder. They were not the highest bidder, but they did have the best plan for it, the council felt. The plan was for an outdoor patio area and volleyball playing area.

That plan never happened and Southern Jack’s closed.

“They (Adams Ag) don’t really have a need for the lot,” Ibisch said. “And no plans for using it.”

Gaylord said the Parks and Rec Committee members thought it could be a real enhancement to the downtown area, although they acknowledged some people might think the downtown has too many “parks” as it is.

After discussion, the council decided to authorize the city staff to pursue a plan to acquire the lot for the purpose of using it for the Veterans Memorial.

Gaylord added that the Park and Rec Committee’s second choice was the former go-kart racing track area at the fairgrounds.