Starke County Veterans Memorial 2020

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WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners of Starke County (the “Commissioners”) act on behalf of the citizens of Starke County as the lawful trustees of the land, property and improvements owned by the county and its departments and subdivisions; and,

WHEREAS, among those properties and improvements, none is more cherished by citizens of the county nor is any more a more widely recognized symbol than is the 19th century Romanesque county courthouse and the courthouse square upon which it is sited in Knox; and,

WHEREAS, in addition to the courthouse, the southwest corner of courthouse square is the site of the Starke County War Memorial, and the courthouse square grounds also feature two ancient and imposing iron canons, all of which are maintained there as monuments to the service, heroism and sacrifice of soldiers, sailors and marines from Starke County; and,

\MIEREAS, the existing monuments, are not sufficient to pay tribute to all of Starke County’s veterans and are in need of enhancement and updates; and,

WHEREAS, the Veterans of Foreign War posts in Starke County, and others, have initiated a plan for a renovation of the Starke County Veterans Memorial, with the ambitious goal of opening the updated facilities to the public on or before Veterans Day, 2020; and,

WHEREAS, it is the intention of the undersigned Commissioners that this project shall be financed in substantial totality by donations, grants and in-kind contributions, and without substantial use of tax revenues; and,

WHEREAS, the updated memorial will require installation of a new improvements on county property, approval and continued involvement of county government will be necessary.


Section 1. Statement of Support. The Commissioners hereby express and commit to support the Starke County Veterans Memorial 2020 project as it is outlined herein.

Section 2. Summary Description of Memorial Project. The existing Starke County War Memorial shall be remain at its current site at the southwest corner of the courthouse square, and an entirely new Starke County Veterans Memorial shall be promptly installed in the southeast comer. It is anticipated that the footprint of the new memorial will be substantially larger than the existing memorial, but shall be placed to be harmonious with the historic Starke County Courthouse, both aesthetically and from an engineering standpoint. The new memorial shall incorporate the names of Starke County service men and women killed in action, or as a direct result of action, in all US wars since the formal creation of Starke County, to wit: all wars and major military actions beginning with the Civil War and continuing to the present, including all listed on the existing memorial. Such fallen service person’s names shall be etched or carved in black marble on slabs organized according the war or military action in which they fell. An additional monument, in the form of a spire or obelisk topped by a bronze eagle, will pay tribute to Congressional Medal of Honor recipients among Starke County’s veterans. A paved courtyard, an array of flags, appropriate lighting and retaining walls shall be included. Additional details are under development, including moving the canons to harmonize with the new memorial, but retaining them on site with new foundations.

Section 3. Delegation to Park Board, Instructions, Progress Reports. The Commissioners hereby delegate to the Starke County Park Board primary responsibility for overseeing the construction and maintenance of the new monument, and for overseeing the appropriate management of donations, gifts and grants in support of the project. The Park Board shall oversee the drafting and execution of an appropriate Site Agreement governing the maintenance, operation, and use of the new memorial, as well as formal rules governing inclusion of names on the monument, including appeals from decisions. In addition, the Park Board shall appoint a stakeholders committee to advise and assist them in achieving the goals set forth herein, with the committee to include veterans, major contributors to the project, and representatives of city, town and county governments from throughout Starke County and other stakeholders. All official meetings taking action regarding the project shall comply with the Indiana Open Door Law. Nothing herein shall be construed as authorizing the Park Board to create or collect any special tax in support of the new memorial. The Park Board shall make monthly reports to the Commissioners regarding the progress of the project, which shall generally be held during the Commissioners’ regular first Monday of the month meeting.

Section 4. Effective Date and Amendments. This resolution takes effect instanter. It

may be amended by the Commissioners at any public meeting.

IT IS SO HEREBY RESOLVED BY THE COMMISSIONERS, this 3 day of February 2020, by the following vote: