Local firm to create a veterans memorial in Farmington cemetery

Jul 24 2011 - 11:25pm

FARMINGTON -- A local developer has been awarded the bid to establish a new veterans memorial at the city cemetery.

The city council during a recent meeting unanimously voted to award the bid to Jerry Preston, with Elite Craft Homes, for a cost of $52,300.

Preston's bid is significantly less than what two other companies had proposed.

City officials say the local developer is doing the project for cost in an effort to give something back to the community.

Because of the price discrepancy once all three bids were opened, officials contacted Preston to ensure the bid was complete. Another bid for the work was $101,800; the third bid came in at $72,000.

The city is taking the bid and the lead with the work, but costs for the project are expected to be reimbursed by local organizers.

Officials hope to see the work completed by Sept. 26.

The memorial will include a trio of flagpoles, backed by a wall with 40 individual granite plaques with the names of local veterans etched in stone.

Buried in the cemetery are 135 veterans. The memorial will also include five 12-inch military emblems, signifying the five branches of the military.

Architect Mike Nilson did sketches for the memorial.

A key part of the project involves removing the existing flagpole at the burial ground from the center of the cemetery and swapping burial plots with several families to open up the memorial area.

Christy Alexander, associate city planner, said all burial plots affected by the memorial have been changed, with family consent, to other parts of the cemetery.

A memorial plaque that is part of the existing flagpole setup will also become part of the new memorial.

Officials from the local chapter of the American Legion have been asked to oversee upkeep of the memorial once it is in place.

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