Middletown sets $10,000 for memorial park

MIDDLETOWN – Town Council approved funding shifts for a planned veterans memorial park as well as some changes to the town code at its April meeting.

Councilors unanimously approved two ordinance readings as motions, which will change town code in regard to planning commission operation and organization. Councilor Jeff Pennington said that the changes will make the planning commission into a “mirror image” of the town council with seven members – six voting members and one tiebreaking chairman – and an appointed secretary taking minutes. He said other changes and repealed sections were decided on with some legal counsel.

The council also unanimously approved the planning commission applications from Frank Meres, Shayla Wharton and Daryl Terrill. Pennington said the planning commission now has one vacant seat open.

Ray Steele announced to the council that Veterans Memorial Park committee meetings were underway, and that he serves as chair of the committee. Councilor Carole Snyder Jones will be the committee’s liaison to the council.

Steele said donation forms for the memorial, which will be located on 1.84 acres at 8050 S. Main Street – near the Middletown sign on the southern end of town – are being finalized. Town council unanimously approved appropriating $10,000 of the town’s public works budget this year for the memorial park. Steele and his wife have donated the first $1,000 for the project.

Currently, Steele said the land is non-recreational park land, and it will eventually be placed under a conservation easement. He said designs for the memorial are still in progress.

“The best use of that land … it just fits in to have a veteran’s memorial,” he said after the meeting. “We want to open the concept, we want it to be a learning facility for children to visit and be educated about all wars.”

Councilors also approved a motion to shift $5,000 in office and administration costs to equipment purchases, as well as a personnel policy addition addressing workplace violence.

Mayor Charles Harbaugh IV presented Robin Simon with a plaque for her efforts in directing the Fourth of July parade for the town for three years. He also proclaimed that Middletown observe Northern Shenandoah Valley Disability Awareness Week from April 9 through April 15, which council also approved.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com