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Saturday, Apr. 19, 2014

Updating of county memorial under way

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

BENTON -- Water no longer runs out of fountains mounted to the veterans' memorial that sits on the front lawn of the Scott County Courthouse in Benton.

And when the sun sets, the concrete monument is no longer visible to passersby. But most importantly, missing from the tribute are the names of Scott County veterans who lost their lives in wars occurring after 1918.

For these reasons and others, Scott County Commissioners announced plans during Tuesday's meeting to begin the process of updating the county's tribute to its veterans.

"We've received a lot of community interest from individuals interested in helping bring it back to the way it should be," said Second District Commissioner Dennis Ziegenhorn about the memorial.

The memorial, which sits on the front left side of the courthouse, lists only World War I soldiers, sailors and marines from 1917-1918. The plaque containing the list of sailors has even fallen off the memorial, however, the County still has the plaque, First District Commissioner Jamie Burger said. The commissioners said they would like to see the memorial updated with all of the county's veterans in all branches of service.

"The hardest part will be getting the list of all the veterans," Burger said. Currently local VFW and American Legion chapters are compiling a list of all county veterans, but information from other individuals would also be appreciated. Within a month or so, a public meeting will be held to develop a committee to repair the existing memorial.

Other things to consider are whether to include veterans who were born in Scott County, resided in Scott County or both, the commissioners said.

Commissioners also said they would like to create a system to update the memorial in the future.

Burger said five gallons of paint left over from courthouse renovations can be used to repaint the memorial, which has been touched up from time to time over the years.

"That way it matches the outside of the courthouse," Burger said.

Another goal is to get the water fountains working again and to illuminate the display, the commissioners said.

"We're looking into it," Ziegenhorn said about restoring the memorial. "We want to put it back in shape and memorialize Scott County residents who died for our country."

Presiding Commissioner Martin Priggel, who isn't seeking re-election in August, said he would like to see the memorial update happen before he leaves office.

"Anybody who gives their life for the country deserves to have a lifetime on the courthouse lawn," Priggel said.

Individuals or organizations interested in providing information, volunteering or contributing in other ways should contact the commissioners' office at (573) 545-3549.

Also during Tuesday's meeting, Scott County Developer Joel Evans noted he's working on applying for grant money to assist residents living in the isolated area south of Salcedo. Originally the area south of Salcedo couldn't be serviced by existing water districts but has since moved into Public Water Supply District No. 1.

Evans said cost of hook up for residences located south of Salcedo is currently $8,000 compared to $150 for other water district residents. Even if funding becomes available, residents will still have to pay over $150, Evans said.

"One hundred-fifty dollars is a cheap investment for the remainder of your lifetime to have safe drinking water in your home," Burger said.

Commissioners along with county assessor Teresa Houchin and county mapper Debbie Evans also discussed the county's geographical information system through a conference call with a representative from its GIS vendor, Midland Solutions.

The county officials then decided to meet in person around June 1 with a Midland Solutions representative to further the discuss the GIS installation, which is estimated to be completed by September or October.