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Panel seeks sign variance

Staff photo by Fritz Busch Construction work continues at the New Ulm Recreation Center Tuesday. The largest of RENU (Reinvest in New Ulm) projects approved by voters, the project includes a new pool area with zero-depth entry and water park amenities, a new strength and wellness center, new entry, and an indoor playground. It is expected to be completed this year.

NEW ULM — New Ulm Park and Recreation recommend accepting a donation for a proposed Vietnam veterans memorial monument and installation in German Park, Monday.

Groups and individuals supporting veterans are requesting city authorization for the installation of the monument in the grass section of the park with the flag pole. The monument has been designed and will be made of rustic mahogany granite. The tablet will be 36 inches, by eight inches by 42 inches. The base will be 48 inches, by 14 inches, by 8 inches.

Park and Recreation Director Tom Schmitz said there are no Vietnam Veterans monuments in New Ulm. The monument will memorialize the six men from New Ulm who were killed in action during the Vietnam War. The names of these men are Dennis Wellmann, Daniel Lloyd, Henry Polzin, Timothy Sullivan, Steven Seemann and Rickey Slander.

The monument will not only honor these six men, but is intended to honor all Vietnam Veterans.

The monument is being funded by an anonymous New Ulm High School graduate and class of 1986 of three of the deceased veterans.

The parks commission unanimously recommended accepting the donation. It will next come before the cemetery and monument Committee for further approval.

Commissioners made a recommendation authorizing the city to start the bidding project for the German Park Amphitheater shade structure.

The state bonding bill including $300,000 bonding to reimburse the shade structure. Park and Recreation Tom Schmitz said the next step is to bid on the project.

The city has until the end of 2023 to complete the shade structure project. Schmitz said construction for the shade could begin this autumn, winter or next year.

The Parks Department will seek a variance for the recreation center’s new exterior signage.

Schmitz said due to a miscommunication, the signage recently placed on the recreation center is larger than city code allows. The original plan was to seek a variance before placing the signage. A variance will be needed if this signage is to remain on the building.

The signage needing a variance includes the installed 3-dimensional “NEW ULM RECREATION CENTER” on the east and north sides of the new aquatic center addition and the replacement of the existing “VOGEL FIELDHOUSE” with “NEW ULM RECREATION CENTER VOGEL FIELDHOUSE” on the north side of Vogel Fieldhouse.

Commissioner and City Councilor David Christian said New Ulm’s signage ordinance is being reviewed for an update. He said the current ordinance does not work for larger buildings like Vogel Fieldhouse and makes sign square footage difficult to determine.

The commission unanimously recommended the city authorize the variance for the exterior sign.

The Recreation Center is the last Reinvest in New Ulm project. The rec center improvements include a new aquatics center, playground, gymnastics center and expanded fitness center. Schmitz said the project is 70% complete as is expected to be finished in autumn.

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