City looks at Memorial Park repairs

Published 12:03 am Monday, September 10, 2012

NATCHEZ — The City of Natchez is looking to spruce up Memorial Park a bit and repair the park’s veterans memorial.

Doug McCallister and Mark LaFrancis of the Miss-Lou patriotic tribute committee appeared before the Natchez Board of Aldermen at its last meeting to give a presentation on the American Veterans Traveling Tribute.

The tribute is a traveling exhibit consisting of several memorials that span every war and conflict in which the United States has been involved.

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From Thursday, Nov. 8 to Veterans Day, Sunday, Nov. 11, the tribute exhibit will be at the Natchez Convention Center available for Miss-Lou residents to come and visit free of charge.

LaFrancis also asked the aldermen to do what they could to repair the memorial in Memorial Park so those visiting the traveling tribute could also see the monument at its best.

LaFrancis told the board City Engineer David Gardner has a cost-effective plan to fix the monument.

Gardner said last week the memorial needs a lot of work. He said the marble is not bound to the concrete anymore because of wear and tear of the elements.

Gardner said he had a contractor look at the memorial approximately two years ago who concluded it would be fairly expensive to repair the marble.

The contractor, Gardner said, recommended the city make the repairs with a different material that would blend with the marble but withstand the weather better.

“If we’re going to do something, we may want to look at it closely and make sure we’re doing it the best way for the long term,” Gardner said. “It’s not just the maintenance of it, we may have to rethink the marble.”

Mayor Butch Brown said in addition to looking into the best way to repair the memorial, he was going to ask former public works director Richard Burke to assess Memorial Park and assist Public Works Supervisor Justin Dollar on formulating a routine maintenance plan.

Burke was recently hired by the city to complete a street inventory so the city can put together a street maintenance program.