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Communication gap stalls vet's memorial

The Rosemount Parks and Recreation Commission is itching to approve a plan for a veterans memorial walk somewhere in Central Park. It just needs some official plans to do so.

On Monday night the commission seemed ready to approve a plan that parks director Dan Schultz presented to the board but it ended up tabling the item after Jerry Gerrits, a member of the Veterans Memorial Walk group disputed the drawing presented.

The group has been working with the commission for more than a year in hopes of putting in an veteran's memorial that would honor all veterans. Currently there is a memorial in the park for those from Rosemount who have died while serving the country.

The group plans to sell pavers that would be installed along a trail or sidewalk in Central Park or along the east side of the Koch Trail which loops north of the park. The west side of the Koch Trail will be part of the Rosemount Interpretive Trail which currently is being installed.

Originally the group indicated it had some pretty grand ideas for the memorial but after working with the commission it seems to have paired down those visions. On Monday the commission was presented a plan that would have the pavers running along the east side of the Koch Trail with a sign at the entrance of the trail announcing what the pavers are.

Schultz said the plan was given to him by the group's leader, Jeff Nivala, for consideration. Gerrits, the only member of the group present at the meetings, challenged the concept drawing, saying the group hoped to do a lot more in the future. He said the plan presented was only phase one.

The commission has asked for a professionally drawn concept plan detailing all the group's intentions for the project so it can designate the land for the project. Gerrit's claims left the commission in a pickle because they don't have a clear idea of what the group wants.

"We need you guys to come together as a united front," said parks commissioner Sandra Knight.

Fellow commissioner Kevin Strayton said he was eager to do something but without a good concept plan they had to delay it.

"I'm itching to actually go on this," said Strayton.

The parks and recreation commission tabled the discussion until November. In the meantime they urged Gerrits to unite the group and to come back with a complete concept plan it can use.