Veterans Pavilion Planning Moving Quickly

The Stark County Veterans Pavilion project is closing in on detailed financial planning, Dickinson Parks and Recreation Director James Kramer said Monday at a Park Board meeting.

The $600,000 addition to Memorial Park is quickly moving forward, as that money has either been pledged to the project by the city, the park board, the county and the Stark County Veterans Memorial Association.

And the sooner, the better, they say.

“We want to see it get done because we’re getting older,” said a smiling Mel Mayher of Dickinson, who is involved in the pavilion’s planning.

The 3,587-square-foot pavilion would be situated just east of the memorial and highly visible from Ninth Street West.

Kramer said the parks department, which will manage the facility, is looking at operations costs by comparing it to the Heart River Retreat and the Heart River Golf Course Pro Shop, as the buildings will be similar in size. He said he wants to have those cost projections complete for the Friday, Oct. 28, roundtable Park Board meeting.

Dave Logosz and Gene Robinson of the Veterans Memorial Association said they’ll likely be fundraising for another $200,000 because they want to be prepared for cost overruns.

Robinson said while the building has a planned capacity of 100 people, more funding could also bump that capacity to 150. He added that the group also wants to ensure the building has a capable video security system for both the pavilion and the memorial, which was completed in 2015.

“I know we’re going to need a lot of extra money after the building is built,” he said. “That’s one of the most important things I can think of is security cameras. We need that really bad up there. I’m worried every day someone is going to mess with our memorial.”

Logosz said additional fundraising shouldn’t be a problem because local government entities have committed dollars to the project.

He said one private donor has told him “they’d gladly give us another $50,000,” if the group needed it. Beyond that, he said after the meeting that there are a “a bunch of donors we have to contact who we think would be quite generous.”

“They’re behind us,” Logosz said of the community’s support for the project. “I get calls all the time ‘When is this building going to be built?’ I said, as soon as we can get started we’ll start on it, and it’s going to happen. This project has been really heartwarming.”

Park Board President Scott Kovash said it doesn’t surprise him that the project has come together so quickly and has such good support, calling Dickinson a “pretty patriotic community.”

“It pretty amazing that you came up with that money that quick. That’s great,” he said. “But I’d encourage you to keep going just because of that fact that we know here, when you put something up, it seems like nothing ever comes in on budget. It’s rare. So it’d be nice to have a cushion. You might think of some things down the road that you’re not thinking of right now.”

Logosz and Robinson said some contractors have been “very generous” and plan to give them discounted bids on the project because of its nature.

“They’ve been very generous,” Robinson said. “They’re just waiting for us to get the materials list so they can bid on it.”

In other business:

› Matt Mack, the department’s facility operations manager, said the state Department of Health has lifted the bluegreen algae advisory on Patterson Lake, and he has not been asked to take more water samples.

› Kramer said the Expedition League — an upstart college wood bat summer baseball league — is moving forward with plans to put a team in Dickinson. Commissioners Tim Daniel and Scott Karsky volunteered to be on a committee that negotiates with the league about its planned use of Southside Ballpark and Astoria Field. The league likely wouldn’t start up until 2018 and would play 32 regular-season games at the ballpark.