By Rafael Marquez
Plans to construct a veterans memorial in Kyle is gaining traction as the city during it’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget discussion set aside an initial $10,000 for the project.
The item is intended as a placeholder in the budget and is meant to spur additional contributions from both public and private entities.
Kyle councilman David Wilson proposed the item during budget discussions earlier this month.
Wilson said he would like the city to approach the veterans memorial in the same way that the city approached the restoration of the Kyle train depot.
The train depot was restored by a combined public and private donation drive and is now run by the Hays County Historical Commission.
The old city hall was also restored using the same public-private model and approach. The old city hall is currently mostly used by the Kyle Area Senior Zone, which is a local 501(c)3 charity that provides activities for senior citizens.
“I do not want the city council to be directive on this, other than providing funds that will allow us to initiate the activity and allows us to put together the Veteran of Foreign Wars and AMVETS,” Wilson said.
Wilson said that a committee would need to be formed that would then use the funds to look at sites, displays and further funding options.
The original amount requested was $25,000, but after deliberations with other council members in open session, the requested amount was brought down to $10,000.
The city of Kyle does not have a veterans memorial, and Wilson said that it’s time to “do our veterans right” and get a memorial built in the city.
Buda has a memorial that Wilson believes cost about $50,000 to build.
It was a public-private endeavour that was led by the Boy Scouts in Buda. There are ongoing maintenance landscaping and other costs associated with the memorial, but the Kyle/Buda VFW maintains the flagpole and is in charge of displaying the flag as appropriate.
Kyle’s potential veterans memorial committee would then advise the city council on ways to honor local veterans. Members would also discuss the best and most appropriate ways to provide a history lesson for the children in our schools in a graphic form or in remembrance of the price that people have paid, Wilson said.