Plans for a permanent Flag Day memorial in Batavia are picking up steam, with a preliminary OK on location and a donations commitment.
The Fox Valley Patriotic Organization wants to put the memorial near where a circle of windmills is near the north end of the government center on Island Avenue.
The drive around the circle would be removed, leaving a road leading to the Riverrain Apartments at 200 N. Island. The windmills would be placed elsewhere on the grounds.
Aldermen and the mayor gave an unofficial thumbs-up to the idea Jan. 23. "Those windmills are there basically in the middle of a street," Alderman Dave Brown said. "You don't see people walking there to see what those windmills are about."
Mayor Jeff Schielke said he worries about the circle drive because he has seen children run out to the windmills from a play area at the Riverwalk.
The monument was announced in 2016 during the 100th anniversary of Flag Day, which was started by Batavia resident Dr. Bernard Cigrand, who also lived in Aurora.
Austin Dempsey, from the Patriotic Organization, said the purpose is "to create a living legacy to Dr. Cigrand, but more importantly, Dr. Cigrand's passion about honoring the United States flag."
The design is a 50-foot concrete surface with a helix wall. There will be plaques at the wall marking important events involving the flag. It will function similar to a sundial with a center flagpole.
Dempsey said the group hopes to have it built in time for Flag Day 2020.
The group has to determine whether the city or the park district owns the Windmill Circle land, he said.
Dempsey said the group estimates a $600,000 price tag, not including the cost of rejiggering the roadway.
The Community Foundation of the Fox Valley and the Dunham Fund have committed to $265,000, he said.
Organizers include a Medal of Honor recipient, Allen Lynch of Gurnee, Dempsey said. Lynch's daughter teaches at Rotolo Middle School. Others include the mayor's wife, Alderman Marty Callahan and state Rep. Steven Andersson. The memorial is being designed by Batavia architect Steve Vasilion.
The group plans to sell engraved bricks for the entrance to the memorial.