by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—The message from those in attendance during the Sugar Grove Village Board meeting on Tuesday was clear: the village should have a Veterans Park.
There’s just one problem: the Village Board hasn’t discussed the topic yet.
During the meeting, Village Board members listened to comments from members of Citizens for Veterans Park, a group dedicated to establishing a park in Sugar Grove that will honor those who have served their country. The Citizens for Veterans Park has the support of the American Legion, the Sugar Grove American Legion Auxiliary and the Sons of the American Legion.
The group wants to establish the Veterans Park on the old Sugar Grove Hotel property on Main Street, now owned by the village. The Citizens for Veterans Park pamphlet suggests the park can serve as a green space for reflection, as well as celebration of Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Veterans Day.
“We really don’t have a place in town where we can … respect and appreciate our vets,” Trustee Kevin Geary said. “Doing a little bit of research into this, the old hotel site was actually purchased with county funds. And the old hotel, being on the Kane County historic register, the intent of those funds was to keep it as a historic site.”
Geary described the proposed park as a living monument that will move on into the future.
“What I am asking the board to do is to strongly consider dedicating this land … the thought is that the village could still retain ownership of the land. The cost to the village is nothing other than to dedicate the land.”
Geary said that there are no existing formal agreements in place to provide for maintenance of the park, although there have been discussions with a local garden club, Scouts, and the American Legion.
Trustee Bob Bohler raised the point that the Veterans Park proposal would have to be discussed further with the village attorney.
Cliff Barker and Tim Sury spoke on behalf of the Citizens for Veterans Park, with Barker stating that the group is requesting a sign and a designation of Veterans Park, with a flagpole and light to be added later.
“I attended a meeting last Thursday at the Sugar Grove American Legion regarding this proposal,” Sury said. “It was suggested that if the Sugar Grove (Village) Board turned down this proposal, the Sugar Grove American Legion should walk the streets with a petition to secure a memorial site for Sugar Grove. Does the Sugar Grove Village Board believe the memorial site will not be accepted by the citizens of Sugar Grove?”
A discussion between the village and the Citizens for Veterans Park is expected to take place sometime within the next week.