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Traverse City to build Coast Guard memorial

By The Associated Press • Mar 8, 2018 at 2:00 PM

TRAVERSE CITY (AP) — Traverse City is building a memorial to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The northwestern Michigan city will begin work on the monument in Mini Park in April. The helicopter-shaped sculpture will sit in the center of a circular brick paver pad and honor the military branch's personnel.

"I like what they do for our country and for our state, and so I think it's just appropriate that we acknowledge and recognize those people and what they do for us," said Stan Simons, who chairs the city's Coast Guard City Committee.

The committee asked students to submit designs for the monument in a contest several years ago. Committee members chose a design by metal artist Matt Coffey and Mallory Heiges, who was a Traverse City West Senior High School student in 2013.

Deputy City Clerk Katie Zeits told the Traverse City Record-Eagle that city commissioners approved spending up to $60,000 on the project. PIW Corp. will receive more than $16,000 for the sculpture.

Rotary Charities, the Biederman Foundation and other groups are funding the project.

Contractors will wait for the ground to thaw before beginning the installation, Simons said. The project is expected to be completed in May.

"It's been a labor of love," Simons said. "The committee has worked very hard to get this done, and I'm very excited that it looks like it's going to happen."

Traverse City is among 21 municipalities in the U.S. that Congress has designated as a Coast Guard City. The designation recognizes places that have made special efforts to recognize the Coast Guard.

However, the Grand Haven Tribune notes that only the City of Grand Haven has been designated by Congress as “Coast Guard City USA.”

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