Breaking News Bar
updated: 6/21/2013 12:53 PM

Gurnee commitee to explore uses for land once pegged for memorial

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Kristina Kovarik

      Kristina Kovarik

  • Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik wants an advisory committee to make recommendations on public uses for the former police station property on Old Grand Avenue. At one time, the one-acre site was proposed as home to Heroes of Freedom Memorial Park in honor of troops who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

       Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik wants an advisory committee to make recommendations on public uses for the former police station property on Old Grand Avenue. At one time, the one-acre site was proposed as home to Heroes of Freedom Memorial Park in honor of troops who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer 2012

 
 

Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik has established an advisory committee to come up with possible public uses for village-owned land on Old Grand Avenue that once was planned as home to a memorial for troops who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Kovarik selected village Trustee Cheryl Ross to chair the panel that will generate ideas for the one-acre site that's been vacant since Gurnee's previous police headquarters was demolished in late November 2004. The Old Grand Avenue land is in a flood-prone section of Gurnee east of the Des Plaines River.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

"Let's figure out what we want to do and what will work best," Kovarik said at a village board session this week. "And the committee will bring some recommendations back to the (village) board so we can move forward. We have a tiny bit of money in the budget that we'll use with whatever ideas the committee comes up with."

Plans for the vacant site have been on hold since 2010 when former Trustee Kirk Morris sued the village after his private foundation was removed as leader of the memorial effort.

Under the lawsuit settlement approved earlier this year, Gurnee's insurance carrier paid $200,000 to the ex-trustee's Pfc. Geoffrey Morris Memorial Foundation for design work and other improvements the group made to the public land. The foundation was named for Morris' son, a U.S. Marine killed in Iraq in 2004. As part of the deal, the village agreed to remove the name "Heroes of Freedom Memorial Park" from the property and return the rights to the foundation.

Kovarik beat Morris in the April mayoral election. Morris' four-year run as a trustee ended in May.

Kovarik said she wants the advisory committee to provide recommendations this summer for "productive" uses of the former police station site. She said Ross will be joined on the committee by village Planning Manager Tracy Velkover and resident Brad Carlson, who lives in the Old Grand Avenue area, along with representatives from the Gurnee Park District and Warren Township.

Controversy over the memorial erupted in October 2009 when Morris and Kovarik began feuding. Kovarik argued that Morris' foundation accomplished little in the four years it was unofficially in charge of the memorial.

Morris was not a trustee in March 2005 when the village agreed to establish a memorial park in remembrance of U.S. military personnel who died in Afghanistan and Iraq. Lights and nine flags representing every military branch were the most visible work done on the memorial from March 2005 until the dispute in 2009.

Twitter: @DHBobSusnjara

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here