Planned veterans memorial park making headway in El Dorado Hills

By: Penne Usher, Telegraph Correspondent
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The El Dorado Hills Veterans Memorial Park is inching closer to becoming a reality.

The memorial park, to be built on a vacant plot of land adjacent to Promontory Community Park, has been in the planning stages since 2010.

The proposed project will feature a memory garden, walk-through exhibits and a gathering area with a stage. The El Dorado Hills Community Service District donated the land.

Robert Leon, co-chair of the El Dorado Hills Veteran’s Memorial Committee, and a Vietnam veteran, said in a recent interview the project is once again “moving along.”

“The (El Dorado Hills Community Service District) Board has stepped up with our committee and we’re now moving forward at a very concentrated pace,” Leon said. “The project architect, Bob Diesel, hopes to have permits and final plans completed by the end of February. If all goes well, a ground-breaking ceremony will be held at that time.”

Project manager Mark Foltz set a potential completion date of Veteran’s Day 2013, but that date could change depending on any weather delays and fundraising status.

To date, more than $30,000 has been raised toward the roughly $2 million needed to complete the project.

Mike and Kellie Kuehn, of Camino, donated an 1875 Decker Brothers grand piano with an estimated value of $20,000, which will be sold to benefit the memorial fund.

“We appreciate the donation from the Kuehns,” Leon said.

The largest cash donation, of $20,000, was from PG&E.

“We appreciate their support and confidence in this worthwhile project,” Leon said.

The 1.2 acres of the community park off Sophia Parkway on Alexandra Drive will eventually become the third memorial in the county dedicated to those who have served our country. Currently there is a Veterans memorial park in South Lake Tahoe and Placerville.

The memorial park will honor veterans from all conflicts dating back to WWI, but will also serve as an education tool for students in the county.

“I know this has been in the process for some time and would really like to see the park completed,” said El Dorado County resident Bob Hansforth. “It will be good for the younger kids to learn more about the sacrifices of veterans.”

With no foreseeable obstacles standing in the way, Leon is confident the project will move forward smoothly.

“We’ve cleared our project with the (California Public Utilities Commission) and PG&E. We are supported by the county and also have our new and old county supervisors in full support of our project,” Leon said. “We can’t thank the citizens of El Dorado Hills and our surrounding areas including Cameron Park, Placerville, Camino, Folsom, Granite Bay and others for standing beside us in this project.”

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