Commission: Place 9/11 Memorial at Mills Park

The Carson City Parks and Recreation Commission unanimously recommended to the Board of Supervisors Tuesday the Sept. 11, 2001, memorial be relocated in Mills Park.

If approved by the Board of Supervisors, a 9/11 Memorial will be relocated and upgraded in the Seely Loop area just south of the existing Firefighters’ Memorial in Mills Park.

The project is estimated to cost $160,000. Private donations are expected to cover portions of the cost and the remaining funds will be requested from the city.

“During the process, we had a lot of conversations — to scale back or set a vision and do it right,” Fire Chief Stacey Giomi said. “We said let’s not compromise, let’s try to set a goal and do it the right way.”

Darrin Burger with Burger Hannafin Architects presented the design saying the goals were to tie the memorial with the IHOP shooting, firefighters’ and veterans’ memorials. The conceptional design includes a place for people to gather, benches, trees and a concrete walk.

Burger said the design incorporates a Pentagon-shaped area, two portions of Nevada granite leaning to represent the Twin Towers and a gnome to cast a shadow.

“Time is an important element when it comes to this memorial,” Burger said about the gnome.

It also includes an American Flag and trees paying homage to the Survivor Tree. The “Survivor Tree” is a callery pear tree that was discovered severely damaged at Ground Zero. The tree was removed and rehabilitated. It was returned to Ground Zero in 2010.

“It is a nice way to landscape the space around the hard scape,” Burger said of the callery pear trees in the design.

It also includes the relocation of the IHOP Memorial. “I am happy that they incorporated it,” Sheriff Ken Furlong said. “The placement is just perfect.”

Giomi and company are expected at the Nov. 6 Board of Supervisors meeting to talk about the project and ask for funding.

Giomi said he and Parks and Recreation Director Roger Moellendorf were looking at including requests for funding in their departmental budgets.

“We are not coming to the board with hands out with nothing in them,” Giomi said. “We don’t know how much we will raise, but we will raise some funds before that date.”

The fire chief said some have already pledged to donate. He also talked about selling bricks with the names of those who were lost during the terror attacks as a means of fundraising. “We were trying to fundraise with a theory,” Giomi said. “We didn’t have the beautiful vision that Darrin created.”

If approved, the group talked about aiming for a Sept. 11, 2016, dedication.

Supervisor Jim Shirk, the Carson City Fire Department, the Carson City Sheriff’s Office and Parks and Recreation Department staff spearheaded the moving of the monument.

Shirk was instrumental in bringing the 1,600 pound I-beam to Carson City. The 10-foot-long by 27-inch-wide steel beam arrived in June, 2011.

Also Tuesday night, after a lengthy discussion, a possible ordinance to ban smoking in city parks was defeated. The commission did make a recommendation to staff to ask special event coordinators to voluntarily designated smoking sections at events held in city parks and increase a signage program to discourage smoking in city parks.

Chair Sean Lehman, a doctor, championed the ordinace to ban smoking citing health issues, how smoking can ruin the enjoyment of the city’s parks for others and urged the city to be “proactive instead of reactive.”

Furlong testified about the difficulty of creating an ordinance the Sheriff’s Office doesn’t have the manpower to enforce.


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