GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Georgetown Township needs a site to honor veterans. On this much, township officials and residents can agree. But a location – that’s a different story.
The proposed site for the park at the busy intersection of Chicago Drive and Main Street is an issue many residents are up in arms about, and one that was furiously discussed at Monday night’s township meeting.
Among those in attendance for the opposition was Jacqueline Larkin, the daughter of a Vietnam veteran. “I feel like I can’t let these veterans and residents down and not try to fight for what they feel is right for what’s supposed to be built for them,” said Larkin.
The site has fostered disagreement in the community for a number of reasons. Of course, there’s the matter of the busy intersection, which would make getting to the site a difficult and potentially dangerous task. Then there's the noise which could be a potential trigger for many veteran’s PTSD. Further, the site is also a flood zone and downwind from a sewage plant.
Also in question is the purpose of the site. At its conception, it was meant to be a memorial site to honor veterans who lost their lives. But somewhere along the nearly two-year planning phase, the site turned into a plaza meant to solely honor those veterans who are still living and serving.
Larkin and several dozen others crammed into the township hall Monday night to voice their concern over the site, with some success. In the end, officials decided to postpone the project until a desirable location that suits both sides could be decided upon.
“I think the reality is regardless of what the intent, what we’re hearing consistently from folks is they’re feeling disrespected by the location, and I don’t want that to fall on deaf ears,” said township trustee Chad Tuttle.
Officials did not set a date to take up the matter again.