Polk senior proposes monument at Vets Park for Eagle Scout project

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, August 2, 2017

COLUMBUS -A Polk County Eagle Scout candidate is proposing to honor Vietnam veterans by placing a granite monument at Veterans Park in Columbus.

Columbus Town Council met July 20 and discussed the proposal from Wyatt Derkach, who is a rising senior at Polk County High School.

Derkach proposed installing a granite monument to veterans of the Vietnam War between the two picnic tables at Veterans Park. Derkach also wanted to concrete the gravel path that leads from the fountain back to the picnic tables, but Columbus council members did not agree with that part of the project.

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Columbus Town Manager Tim Barth said the proposal is for a 3 by 5 granite slab with a drawing of a soldier at the top as well as some wording to honor the veterans who fought in Vietnam.

Robert Williamson, House of Flags Museum president and member of the Discover Columbus Committee, said this year was the 50th year anniversary of the U.S. entering Vietnam and he thought it was good timing to honor the veterans. Williamson said there’s more interest in recognizing Vietnam veterans because of the anniversary.

Councilman Mark Phillips asked why Derkach wants to pave the rock sidewalk and how much money will it cost the town.

Barth said the project will cost the town nothing, as Derkach is raising all the money for his project.

Phillips said he would rather see the project not include paving the sidewalk and leaving the rocks.

Others agreed.

The motion to allow the project was approved unanimously with the stipulation that paving the walkway not be included.

Last year another Eagle Scout project at Veterans Park was completed by Nathaniel Watkins, who built a shelter over the stage where bands play.