- Associated Press - Friday, August 5, 2016

MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) - A plan to create a park in Mitchell to honor military veterans might be in jeopardy due to rising costs and a lack of community support.

The City Council in April approved the $35,000 project, to be funded by community donations.

“No greater tribute can be given to our veterans for the sacrifices made by them,” Mayor Jerry Toomey said.

However, the project cost has since ballooned to $150,000 due to design changes and only about $5,000 in donations has been raised, The Daily Republic newspaper reported (http://bit.ly/2b5D39G ).

The park would have benches, picnic tables, trees, shrubs, lighting fixtures and a splash pad water recreation area. Metal insignias of the five U.S. military branches would be hung on the wall of the neighboring American Legion building. The signs were supposed to be installed a month ago.

“When you don’t see the signs on the wall, you obviously see nothing happening, which makes it extremely difficult when you are trying desperately to keep motivation alive,” Toomey said.

Bill Jackson, American Legion Post 18’s finance officer, said the group has promoted the project through the sale of raffle tickets and the display of promotional posters at building entrances.

“And in addition to that, we are offering our new wall for them to mount (the signs), so we are actively supporting it,” he said.

Toomey is organizing a committee to boost fundraising efforts, and said a final push for donations “will either make or break the project.”

“The project will unfortunately be suspended indefinitely if our fundraising goal is not realized by the end of September,” the mayor said.

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Information from: The Daily Republic, http://www.mitchellrepublic.com

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