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    Friday, October 07, 2022

    Chesebrough proposes to use ARPA money to fund remainder of Stonington veterans memorial

    Stonington — First Selectwoman Danielle Chesebrough plans to ask the Board of Finance next week to approve the use of $86,420 in federal American Rescue Plan Act money to fund the remaining cost of the veterans memorial monument proposed for the lawn in front of the police station.

    The eight-sided granite memorial would list the names of the more than 7,000 residents who have served in the military since World War I. The project is a joint effort by the town and the Harley P. Chase Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1265 in Pawcatuck. The planning and fundraising effort to build the memorial has been overseen by Chesebrough’s Executive Assistant Stacey Haskell.

    The town is working with Buzzi Memorial on Route 1 to design and construct the granite memorial.

    Residents would be able to use smartphones or computers to read through the names of all veterans, as well as explore videos and historical content on a dedicated monument website. More information about the project can be found at bit.ly/stvetsproject.

    The town now proposes to ask local artists to submit designs about how they would honor local veterans on the eight sides of the memorial. A committee would review submissions and the chosen artist or artists would be recognized as part of the project and receive a $10,000 stipend.

    To date the town and VFW have raised $110,000 of the $197,978 cost of the memorial, which does not include the cost of benches. This leaves the town having to raise about another $15,000, which it calls feasible.

    If the Board of Finance appropriates the $86,420 from the remaining $509,667 in ARPA funds, plans call for the installation of the monument by next spring.

    “This ARPA funding request would allow us to not only complete this significant project, but also focus energy on capturing the historical content facet of this Town project,” Chesebrough’s office said in the written request to the finance board.

    The finance board will consider the request when it meets Wednesday, Aug. 3 at 7:15 p.m. in the police station community room.

    To date the town and VFW have received donations for the memorial from 297 individuals, organizations and businesses and received six of the 12 grants it applied for. It also has held 19 fundraising and networking events since June 2021. It’s largest fundraising event at Saltwater Farm Vineyard combined with a raffle raised $6,900.

    j.wojtas@theday.com

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