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Waterfront location proposed for veterans monument

The nine-year-old project may finally happen, city councillors will learn on Monday

Almost a decade after selecting John Rowswell Park as the location of a veterans commemorative monument, city council will be asked Monday to reaffirm its 2014 decision.

A fund-raising campaign was started in 2014, but for reasons Malcolm White, the city's chief administrative officer, will reveal at Monday's city council meeting, the monument never happened.

Now, White says, the monument committee is prepared to try again.

"Given the length of time since it was last before council, [the committee] is seeking confirmation of the previous approval from this council," White says in a report to Mayor Matthew Shoemaker and councillors.

"Staff have reviewed the proposed siting of the monument and assessed the impact on current activities in the area. Two items of concern were the impact the monument would have on both activities associated with Rotaryfest and the winter skating trail that runs through John Rowswell and Clergue Park.

"Staff facilitated a meeting between Rotaryfest organizers and the... committee to discuss concerns. While supportive overall of the proposal, Rotaryfest’s two concerns were focused on ensuring that the footprint of the monument didn’t impact event activities in the area and that the monument could be protected from potential damage/harm during events.

"In order to address these concerns and staff’s concerns regarding impact to the skating trail, the [monument] committee agreed to shift the proposed location as much as practicable to the southwest to reduce these impacts.

"Regarding the concern over potential harm/damage to the monument during Rotaryfest, staff are confident that this can be managed as part of operational preparations for the event as a whole."

The city's only financial involvement will be to pay for maintaining the monument once it's been built, White says.

Monday's city council meeting will be live-streamed on SooToday starting at 5 p.m.

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David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans seven decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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