Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Stage Also in Plans for Veterans Park Area; Atlantic Beach and the Board Have Agreed on a Management Plan

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Stage Also in Plans for Veterans Park Area; Atlantic Beach and the Board Have Agreed on a Management Plan

Article excerpt

Byline: DREW DIXON

ATLANTIC BEACH - In addition to veterans events, the evolving Beaches Veterans Memorial Park will have a stage and other facilities to use for outdoor movies and other general public events.

The City Commission Monday approved an operating agreement with the park board that spells out who will take care of what as the park's first phase of development is about to be completed.

The agreement says the city is largely responsible for maintenance surrounding the perimeter of the park and that veterans will take care of the interior of the park, where there are plans for an ornate lawn and memorial garden. The city will also be responsible for the 20-by-30-foot American flag that flies from the 80-foot flagpole that was erected last year at the site at the northwest corner of Atlantic Boulevard and Mayport Road.

City Public Works Director Rick Carper said the agreement won't cost the city any extra money because the land was already owned by Atlantic Beach and was routinely maintained anyway. He said the city has already taken care of the huge flag since it was first raised when the park was dedicated in a ceremony that drew about 400 people on Veteran's Day, Nov. 11.

A backup flag is in storage in case the original flag is damaged as it's displayed 24 hours a day. Buchanan Sign & Flag of Jacksonville, which sold the flag to the park, will handle repairs.

The flag and flagpole were purchased with a combined $25,000 donation from the Oceanside Rotary Club and the Jacksonville Beach Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3270. The flag base and other surrounding elements were paid for with a $50,000 grant from Jacksonville.

Carper said the city will ask for bids next week for a raised 1,500-foot concrete stage at the park. It's expected to cost about $50,000, to be paid for through donations. He said the city hopes to have the stage built just east of the flagpole by the spring and should be ready to host a Memorial Day event May 30.

"It's a concrete stage for ceremonies and presentations," said Carper. …

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