Focus on Fostoria - Aug_1_04

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Fostoria Focus - August 1, 2004

Vet's Chapel Finished, but Committee Isn't
By Leonard Sknoecki

The Veterans Memorial Chapel may be completed and dedicated, but the chapel committee continues its work. The group met July 20 to discuss the pavers, the podium and the cannons.

Since Memorial Day, 62 additional pavers have been purchased, including two of the ones that are 24 inches by 24 inches which indicate a donation on $1,000 or more.

The possibility of relocating some of the pavers several feet to the west and adding additional space for more pavers are discussed.

This would allow for the installation of a 6-foot wide walkway made of blank pavers that would provide a smooth surface to be used for the casket bier and pall bearers. The walkway would extend from the drive to the south door on the chapel's west side.

The committee also took up the matter of a new podium. The current one is crumbling and is too small. The committee intends to have it constructed next spring and dedicated on Memorial Day.

The new one will be longer, wider and have higher flag poles so that people on the podium won't have flags blowing in their faces as sometimes happens now.

The podium already has electricity.

The new podium will have a handicap ramp along the back and will stretch from cannon to cannon adding five feet at each end.

The plaques and medallions on the current podium will be incorporated in the new one.

Mayor John Davoli said the city will have preliminary plans drawn up for the new arrangement of the pavers and the new podium for the committee to review at the next meeting.

The committee's fund-raising for the chapel including the purchase of $6,000 worth of exterior brick that will exactly match that used on the chapel.

There was also discussion of the two cannons that flank the podium. Bill Munson, Toby Colbert and Mike Strahm have made arrangements to take them to the Lima Tank Plant. The plant will donate the use of its equipment and volunteers will donate their labor to sandblast and repaint them.

Veterans have been volunteering to keep the chapel open on Saturdays for visitors. Art Allison reported people have come to Fostoria from Adrian, Mich., and Illinois just to see it.

Finally, the city hopes to close the Veterans Memorial Chapel account by the end of the calendar year. As of July 15, the committee had raised $155,791.69 in private money toward the project.

The chapel's cost was roughly $210,000, dropping the city's share to approximately $54,000 as of now. Money will continue to be raised and part of those funds will be dedicated for the podium.

Incidentally, a new cemetery office was inforporated into the chapel. Cemetery Supervisor John Potteiger says he's so pleased with it that he's delaying his retirement by five years just so he can work it in longer.

(Psst. That last paragraph isn't true. I just threw it in because someone said that as a joke. John is a good guy and was a big help in getting the chapel built, but he intends to retire right on time.)