The man wanting to erect a veterans walk and a rebound wall for soccer players in Liberty Field will get some help from the city.
Pat Smiley, Pacific Soccer Association (PSA) president, has raised $12,500 to purchase and install granite markers commemorating veterans in all wars along the Liberty Field walking trail.
The city tourism commission also approved tourism funds toward the project.
The PSA also has allocated $5,000 to erect a rebound wall to assist soccer players in practice, based on a sketch that Smiley drew.
Speaking at the March 5 board of aldermen meeting, Smiley said he wants to begin construction on both projects this spring, but he needs a no-rise certificate for the rebound wall. He asked the city to help obtain the no-rise certificate.
Stephen Flannery, park board president, said the park board endorsed the concept of both the veterans’ markers and the rebound wall, but had some issues on the rebound wall location. Park board members wanted to see a detailed plan for the wall before the project moves forward.
Smiley countered that the park board wants to place the rebound wall in a spot that would make it ineffective and might place young soccer players in danger.
“They (the park board) want to put the wall up by Highway O where only one side could be used and kids might run into the street to get a ball,” he said. “I’m not going to put kids where they can run out on Highway O.
“To be useful as a practice tool, the wall should be in the center of the park where it could be used on both sides,” Smiley said.
Alderman Walter Arnette said the city should pay for the no-rise certificate for the rebound wall since the projects are in the city park and asked that the city engineer begin the process to obtain the certificate.
Flannery asked if one certificate could be used for both the practice wall and proposed pavilion and restroom that the park board wants to construct in the park.
Alderman Ed Gass asked the city engineer to get a specific cost for creating the no-rise certificate before aldermen approve the expenditure.
Mayor Herb Adams directed the city engineer to review the no-rise certificate and report at the next board meeting.