Fairboard opposes the veterans memorial at the southwest corner of the fairgrounds

This property on the southeast corner of the Pipestone County Fairgrounds has been suggested as a possible location for a veterans memorial after the Pipestone County Fair Board objected to a request from the Memorial Committee veterans to use part of the southwest corner of the fairgrounds. K. Kuphal

A request by the Veterans Memorial Committee to place a memorial at the southwest corner of the Pipestone County Fairgrounds appears to be going nowhere.

Cristy Appel, a member of the Veterans Memorial Committee, asked Pipestone County Commissioners for clarification at their November 23 meeting.

“The reason I’m here is because I’ve heard that the Pipestone County Fair Board has decided that where we are proposing to have a memorial they don’t agree. “said Appel. “My question was for Steve [Ewing, Pipestone County administrator], do the county commissioners agree with their decision. “

Appel acknowledged that parking had long been an issue at the fairgrounds and that the memorial at the proposed site would take away parking spaces, but argued that it was not something the group could not work with. and continue to complete a memorial.

“The Pipestone Veterans Memorial is not here to shove a memorial down anyone’s throat,” Appel said. “We think of the veterans. Our veterans, they missed the county fairs, they missed the Thanksgiving holidays, they missed family birthdays, family Christmases, and many other life events. And it wasn’t just four days a year. We take it for granted every day that our veterans stand up for our freedoms. We get up every day and attend meetings. We work our farmland. We can go to work thanks to our veterans.

Pipestone County Fair Board Chairman Skip Moeller said the fair board had not met as a group to discuss the proposed use of the southwest corner of the fairgrounds for a memorial , but he sent a mass text to ask council members what they thought. . He said those who responded to the text were in favor of creating a memorial for veterans, but didn’t think the southwest corner of the fairgrounds was the right place.

He said their reasons included that they did not know the size and scope of the proposed project, the poor condition of this area of ​​the fairgrounds as it is low and humid, and the fairgrounds being landlocked.

“We don’t have the opportunity to grow in any direction right now,” Moeller said. “This does not mean that the land will not be put up for sale at some point, but in the past we very rarely have this opportunity due to the borders of the fair. “

He said there are no short-term plans to build anything in the southwest corner of the fairgrounds, but updates and improvements are still happening, which could change at the future.

“At the end of the day, I want everyone in this room to realize and feel that the county fair, the fair board members, the staff, we are 100 percent behind our veterans. “said Moeller. “We realize the sacrifices they made for our community and fundamentally our world. We don’t want to give the impression that we are negative. We just want the thinking process to go through everyone’s mind that if we give this land it will never come back, and in the future we may need this land for any kind of development to the fair.

Commissioner Dan Wildermut said he liked the idea of ​​a memorial at the southwest corner of the fairgrounds, but asked if there would be an objection to placing a memorial at the southeast corner of the property. Moeller said the fair board had not discussed it and could not speak for the members, but his personal opinion was that it would be “a much more logical solution as this space does not ‘is not used for building structures, for future expansion. ” It’s strictly just for parking during the fair.

He said it made more sense to him to place a memorial on the grounds of the Pipestone County Courthouse next to the Civil War and Tank Memorial. Wildermut said he liked the idea as well, but that it should adapt to what’s there and not obscure the view of the courthouse.

Moeller and Appel acknowledged that all of these locations belong to the county, so their use is up to the county commissioners. Commissioners took no action regarding a memorial during the meeting.

Appel said the Veterans Memorial Committee will continue to search for another site if necessary, continuing a search that has gone on for four years.

“We are all for a memorial,” she said. “It’s just where.”

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