NEW ULM – New Ulm City Council will re-examine the donation of a memorial to Vietnam veterans in the German park on Thursday.
The proposed memorial would honor the six New Ulm graduate men who were killed in action during the Vietnam War: Dennis Wellmann, Daniel Lloyd, Henry Polzin, Timothy Sullivan, Steven Seemann and Rickey Slander.
The city was in favor of accepting the monument as a monument to Vietnam veterans was seen as a positive for this city, but there were concerns about where to place it. The donor of the monument originally requested to place the monument in the German park near the American flag.
This monument and its placement in the German park were unanimously approved by the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Monuments and Cemeteries Commission. However, the Friends of the German Park organization has expressed some concerns that the monument should be placed in another location.
The master plan for German Park did not include military memorials and there was concern that there was not enough room for the monument. In addition, it was believed that other groups might apply for similar memorials in the future.
Fearing that this would set a precedent and that more memorials would follow, the New Ulm city council was reluctant to place the memorial in the German park. Several council members suggested that it would be more appropriate to create a larger veterans memorial for the city at another location. This led to the creation of a commission to determine if an alternative option for a larger Veterans Memorial in a different location was possible.
The committee included City Councilor Eric Warmka, former Mayor Bob Beussman, Tony Miller, Denis Warta, Tom Backer, Roger Klockziem and Michelle Markgraf. After only one meeting of the committee, a recommendation was made and approved that a section of the German park would be named Veterans Square and that the given Vietnam Veterans sign would be installed.
The committee was mainly persuaded to make this recommendation by the anonymous donor who turned out to be Bruce Lambrecht.
Lambrecht’s main goal was to create the Vietnam monument for the German park. The proposal was called Veterans Square and would be located in the 2,400 square foot space near the American Flag in the German Park.
Lambrecht provided a list of 15 reasons why German Park was his preferred location for the sign, including the American flag already in the park, washrooms, performing arts center, proximity to downtown, accessibility of the park, the playground and the park already hosting special events.
He believes all of these would generate traffic and more people would see the sign. He also did not believe that the city should create another park unit specifically for veterans when park space was already available in the German park.
Lambrecht and other veterans were also concerned that creating a separate veterans park would cost more and take too long.
Lambrecht said he was not opposed to expanding his idea, but did not want to wait to honor Vietnam veterans. He said that if German Park was approved for the memorial and the most important idea subsequently came to fruition, he would be okay with moving the Vietnam memorial panel to the other location.
The committee voted to recommend that the section of the German park be named Veterans Square and to accept the donation from the Vietnam Veterans panel to be the first to visit Veterans Square.
Lambrecht also agreed to make his presentation to city council at the first meeting in August.
A public hearing on the final assessment rolls for the 2020 surface reconstruction project will take place. The hearing covers the removal and replacement of the pavement on 8th North Street from Garden Street to Franklin Street; 2nd Street South from Front Street to Valley Street; 7th South Street from Washington Street to the tracks; 9th South Street from Front Street to Valley Street; Washington Street from 16th North Street to 17th North Street.
The final project assessment roll is payable over a period of 10 years with a simple interest of 2.60% on the unpaid balance.
The Board will hold a closed-door solicitor-client privilege session to discuss litigation strategy for a property located at 1007 N. Minnesota St.