At a regular meeting of the City Council on Monday, April 17th, Council President Mika Blain read a statement on behalf of the Mayor and Council regarding the F15 Static Display at Veterans Memorial Park.
Thank you all for attending this evening. It is because of public participation and constructive feedback that we can work toward cohesive solutions. We have listened to your statements and concerns regarding the funding and placement of the F15 Static Display. To address those concerns, and specifically those voiced by the Parks Advisory Board and Wingwatchers, on placement of the static display within the leased portion of the property; City Staff have been directed to explore re-locating the static display to the City-owned portion of the property located on the north side of George Nurse Way within Veterans Park. This is not a promise to move the static display; but that it will be analyzed as a possible location.
There have been several statements about the public meeting process and perceived lack of transparency. It is important to clarify that the City has followed all public meeting guidelines during this process and continues to follow that process in compliance with public meeting requirements.
Regarding the funding of the static display and inaccurate reference to “COVID funding”, it is important to differentiate between the CARES Act and ARPA. Though both contained economic relief for state and local government, each have different funding allocations, requirements for spending, and fund usage deadlines.
The ARPA federal relief package included $360 billion for State and Local Government Fiscal Recovery Funds to be utilized to rebuild a stronger and more equitable economy as the country recovers. The City Council has chosen to use our portion of these funds to replace lost public sector revenue, a listed eligible use of ARPA funding. The City has selected projects that meet Council Priorities relating to infrastructure, police protection, tourism, and beautification. Such projects and allocations have included items such as the Moore Park Playground, the Portland Street Quiet Zone, the Ella Redkey Pool slide and new trash receptacles in the Downtown; all of which were funded without opposition.
We are honored to partner with Klamath County Government and Kingsley Field on the addition of the static display to our Veterans Park. We look forward to welcoming many visitors who come to honor and pay tribute to the men and women of our armed forces by visiting and exploring the memorial, our beautiful City and surrounding community.