A plan that has been in the works for almost ten years is moving ahead, in a slightly different location that originally planned.
The project is a Recognition Monument to the over 10,000 citizens of Sault Ste. Marie and areas that have served through the Armed Services of Canada and Allied Nations.
Council approved in principle the concept of a Veterans Commemorative Memorial in August 2014 ,to be erected adjacent to the city’s waterfront and that appropriate staff be involved in the planning, mechanics and site preparation.
Following this approval, the VCM committee began a fundraising campaign to cover the costs of building and installing the monument. These efforts were delayed due to the planned location of the monument.
The VCM committee is now prepared to move ahead with a new campaign.
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 VCM 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.
The VCM 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 anticipated financial impact to the City would involve providing upkeep and maintenance to the monument once constructed. The specifics of this impact will be the subject of a future council report.
The cost of the monument will be donation from the public along with possible funding grants from the Federal and Provincial Government.
City staff are recommending to council to take the next steps, to approve the location of the proposed monument in John Rowswell Park, subject to any necessary legal agreements.