Costs cut from Bradford County Veterans Memorial Park
A total of $80,000 to $100,000 in cost-cutting measures have been made to the design of the Bradford County Veterans Memorial Park in Towanda, which is currently under construction, an architect said.
"The project will be scaled down a little," architect Jason Clapp told the Towanda Borough Council on Monday.
Ridgebury Township resident Joe Doherty, who has spearheaded the creation of the park, told the council that the effort to find businesses and organizations that would make large donations towards the park's construction has been "discouraging."
However, he said that the members of the Bradford County Veterans Memorial Park Association will continue their efforts to secure large donations for the project.
Clapp said that he recently met with the Bradford County Veterans Memorial Park Association to work on ways to cut costs from the rest of the park's construction.
Two retaining walls as well two paths - one on the park's northern end and one on the park's southern end - have been eliminated from the park's design, told the council.
In addition, the area for granite pavers, which honor individual veterans and current service members, has been scaled back. Originally, the project would have accommodated a total of 5,000 pavers, Clapp said. Now, there will be a total of 2,160 pavers available, he said.
Doherty said the pavers, which are still available for purchase, have not been selling as well as the association had hoped.
Only approximately 1,000 of the pavers have been sold so far, Doherty said.
The number of six-foot-high monuments, each associated with a particular war or conflict, has been scaled back from 10 to six, Doherty said.
In addition, the purpose of the remaining six monuments will be changed.
Five of the six monuments will each be dedicated to a particular branch of the U.S. armed forces, and information about the particular conflicts or theaters of war that that branch played an important role in will be engraved on the monument, he said. The sixth monument will honor veterans who have received a Purple Heart or the Congressional Medal of Honor, he said.
While the names of every Bradford County veteran who was killed in action were going to be carved into the ten monuments, those names will no longer be included in the park, he said.
Doherty explained that after doing a lot of research, it became apparent that it will be impossible to find the names of all Bradford County veterans who were killed in action. The association does not want to engrave a partial list of those killed in action on the monuments, he said.
While the association has asked the public for help in finding the names of Bradford County veterans who were killed in action, only a few names were submitted, Doherty said.
In addition, to save money, the concrete entrance leading from the park's parking lot to the main area of the park will now be made of split-face concrete block or ground-face concrete block, Clapp said.
Towanda Borough Council member Ellen Lacek said she thought that the association and Clapp had done a good job in redesigning the park.
While the purpose of the ten monuments has changed, the overall purpose of the park remains the same, Doherty said.
"We're honoring the military," he said. "That's what this is all about."
The council on Monday also agreed to put the second phase of the park's construction out to bid, on the conditions that all funds be place to pay for it when the bids are awarded and that the bid process is OK'd by the architect's solicitor.
The second phase includes the construction of the park's parking lot, a path between the Roger A. Madigan Gateway Park to the Bradford County Veterans Memorial Park, the entrance from the parking lot to the main section of the park, and railings.
The estimated cost of the second phase now stands at $186,000, Clapp said. A total of $155,000 from a state grant will help pay for the second phase.
Currently, the association has all but $8,000 in place to cover the estimated cost of Phase 2, Doherty said.
The association is still seeking donations to help pay for the second phase, he said.
The second phase is scheduled to go out to bid on July 8, with a bid opening in early August.
There are four phases to the park's construction.
James Loewenstein can be reached at (570) 265-1633; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.