2017-09-27 / Front Page

Vietnam Vets memorial to go on Fairfax Green

by Trish Rudder

The Vietnam Veterans memorial is to be placed where the Zelkova tree is on the west end of the Green. photo by Trish Rudder The Vietnam Veterans memorial is to be placed where the Zelkova tree is on the west end of the Green. photo by Trish Rudder The Vietnam Veterans memorial will be built on the west end of the Fairfax Green on Fairfax Street.

The Bath Tree Board recommended the site be approved to the Bath Town Council, and the council members unanimously agreed at the September 19 meeting.

Chuck Hampe, president and founder of the Morgan County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, told the town council that more than $50,000 has been raised for the monument.

In order to apply for grant funding, the memorial’s placement must be known first. The group needs about $180,000 to build a Vietnam Veterans memorial, he had said.

He was also told by the state ADA compliance coordinator that the ADA compliancy does not apply to visual monuments which is what all the monuments on the Green are.

Fund member Gary Easton, Jr. said he learned the Fairfax Green was owned by the state. He said he was told by the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Division of Highways (DOH) that the Fairfax Green is a state-owned right of way. He applied for and received a permit to construct the memorial from the DOH that is in effect to July 2019. Easton was told the Fund could reapply to keep the permit in effect.

He said the DOH was consulted to make sure the monument would not interfere with a driver’s line of sight at the intersection, and it was approved.

He said he also learned the Fund does not need the site to be ADA compliant because it is a “visual monument only.”

“We have everything in line and are awaiting approval from the Town of Bath and the Tree Board,” Easton said at the council meeting.

Easton said he is compiling the written approvals, which will be given to the Tree Board as requested.

Tree Board head Andy Swaim told the Fund members that in addition to supplying written waivers from funding agencies, the following conditions must be met:

- The town council and the Foxglove Garden Club will determine the exact placement of the monument. Swaim said the plan is to erect the monument where the current Zelkova tree is now;

- Any plans for signage must be provided to be approved by the town council;

- The town council must approve any proposed modification of utilities on the Green, and any cost for modification will be borne by the Fund;

- Costs for any vegetation removal, i.e., trees, shrubs and perennials will be borne by the Fund; and

- Plans for re-landscaping of the Green in conjunction with the placement of the monument will be developed by the Foxglove Garden Club and costs will be borne by the Fund.

Easton said later the relandscaping costs borne by the Fund would be no more than $1,000, and that figure was agreed upon between the Fund and the Tree Board.

Easton said the Vietnam Veterans monument is 14 feet tall but has steps up to the monument that add another two feet. He said it will take up about a four-feet-by-fourfeet section on the Green.

When Swaim asked the council to approve the monument’s placement on the Green, he said additional conditions may come up and the memorial’s construction may require “tweaking” as the project proceeds.

He recommended that no other large monuments be approved to be located on the Green, due to the limited area of the Fairfax Green. Small stone monuments would be considered.

Now that the location of the memorial has been approved, Easton said the Fund has already applied for one grant and is looking at several others.

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Regarding the Vietnam Vets

Regarding the Vietnam Vets Memorial on the Fairfax Green: Great idea but please don't cut the Zelkova tree. Thank you, Linda Crawford