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Farmington Veterans Memorial work nears the end

A new $9,900 grant will help pay for some of the work needed to complete the Farmington Veterans Memorial.

It may seem as if the weather is holding up progress on the Farmington Veterans Memorial, but there is plenty of work going on, all the same.

With a hope of dedicating the memorial by late July, the veterans memorial committee has been tying up loose ends during the winter and early spring. That way, committee member Leon Orr said, when the weather finally clears up, the final construction can move ahead.

Much of the work these days is going into fundraising, Orr said. The project was recently selected to receive a $9,900 2014 Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund Competitive Veterans’ Memorial Parks Grant from the Minnesota Department of Administration.

“We couldn’t purchase some of the things until we got the grant,” Orr said.

Now the committee can get bids for the granite work that needs to be done on site. Getting the bids, reviewing them, and selecting a contractor will take about six weeks, Orr said.

“We probably won’t see a lot of activity for about six weeks, although there’s a lot of activity being done on paper,” he said.

So far, 223 pavers have been sold. Each paver lists the name of a Farmington-area veteran. Only five of the $350 pavers are still available, Orr said.

Recently, committee member David Metzger installed the emblems of the six military branches.

“They add a lot of character, I think,” Orr said.

All of the other pieces — including five benches and a granite folded US flag — have been purchased and are in storage at Dakota Electric Association. Those pieces will be the last to be installed, Orr said, so as to not be scratched during the installation process.

The only piece that has not been purchased yet is a sculpture of a bronze soldier, also planned as part of the memorial. That piece alone will cost $35,000. It is not included in this first construction phase, Orr said, but is something the committee would like to add in the future.

Farmington’s Support Our Troops Haunted House has also offered up a $10,000 matching grant, so the committee is actively seeking donations to meet those grant requirements.

Anyone interested in making a donation or purchasing one of the remaining pavers can do so online by visiting, Paperwork is also available at Farmington City Hall.

If all moves ahead on schedule, Orr hopes for a late-July dedication ceremony.

“We think it’s turning out really nice. People are going to be, we think, really pleased when it is finished,” he said.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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