The Carver County Veterans Memorial in Mayer. (Archived photo)

The Carver County Commissioners had a busy meeting on Sept. 21, with different discussions over various community endeavors. Among those an amendment to the Mayer Veterans Memorial Site plan.

Marty Walsh, Parks Director for Carver County, and Stan Heldt, Veterans Memorial Registry member, presented the plan amendment to the commissioners. While mostly complete, there are a few additions the CCVMR wishes to make, - including three equipment pads, connecting sidewalks, and a shed. With the memorial so close the Dakota Regional Trail, which is under the authority of the Carver County Regional Rail Authority, the CCVMR needed to clear these changes with the commissioners before moving forward.

There are already two equipment pads placed at the memorial site. However, this new plan would move them along a walking trail, while adding three more, bringing the total up to five. These equipment sites would show off things like tanks, cannons, possibly even a helicopter, according to Walsh. Along the walking trail would be the shed, which would store groundskeeping supplies. The reason the equipment would be housed like this is to not obstruct the view of the memorial itself.

With these new additions, the CCVMR is also planning to expand access to the memorial, including from the street parking nearby and from the streets behind it so residents can walk along a trail to the memorial. The equipment for the pads would also need approval in the future, as the proposed amendment is just for the pads. All work done would also need approval by the commissioners in the future, but that’s all contingent on the approval the amendments.

Vice Chair Gayle Degler asked if Heldt had anything to add to the request.

“The memorial has been very well accepted,” he said. “We have 400 pavers that are in the paver gardens, and we’re ready to be making another order here very shortly.”

There are no worries about running out of paver space, according to Heldt. They have the capacity for 4,000 pavers, if it comes down to it, and are just about to start filling the third of many gardens at the memorial.

The community is also engaging with the memorial. The CCVMR has invited WWII re-enactors, held history days, had students visit from the local school, and more. The six panels at the memorial, representing branches of the military (Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard) as well as one representing POWs, also now have a voice log attached to them. These logs explain what the branch does, as well as some military history. To activate the log, visitors just have to use a smart phone.

“We’re pretty proud of that particular set up,” said Heldt. “We have three up and running, and the other three will be ready shortly.”

Heldt also said that the CCVMR and Parks Commission have worked very well together to make this memorial a place to visit. People visit the park and memorial often together, so the partnership has worked very well for both parties so far.

Degler told Heldt that he truly appreciated the work of the CCVMR, and asked how they get the pieces they display. According to Heldt, it depends on the piece. Most of the pieces are discussed by the CCVMR and they also work with anyone looking to donate or sell some equipment. The other commissioners also complimented Heldt and the CCVMR for their efforts.

With the thanks and request in mind, the commissioners approved the motion unanimously for the amendments to the Mayer Veterans Memorial. For anyone curious about the memorial, or looking to become a part of the Registry, visit ccvmr.org.

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