Coast Guard helicopter statue grounded

By BRIAN MCGILLIVARY | The Record-Eagle, Traverse City, Mich. | Published: March 5, 2014

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — A group charged with trumpeting Traverse City’s designation as a Coast Guard City will ground their proposal to erect a 20-foot-tall statue of a helicopter at a downtown entrance.

Members of the Coast Guard City Committee received a lukewarm response from the city’s parks and recreation commissioners who questioned the location, design, and scale of the project when they reviewed it in February. The project remains on the agenda when parks commissioners meet today at 6:30 p.m. in the Governmental Center, but committee members won’t seek project approval, City Manager Jered Ottenwess said.

“They would like parks and rec to form a committee with the Coast Guard committee to look at other locations and appropriate design and scale for the statue,” said Ottenwess, a member of the Coast Guard committee. “It appears the design needs some modifications ... but most important was location. The Coast Guard committee hasn’t thoroughly looked at every possible location.”

Committee members proposed to erect the statue on park land in the center of the wye created by the intersection of Grandview Parkway and East Front Street.

City staff failed to inform Coast Guard committee members until just days before they made their presentation to the Parks and Recreation Commission in February that the city had a policy for the placement of public art. The policy required consideration of several different locations and the early involvement of the Parks and Recreation Commission.

The proposed $30,000 brushed stainless steel outline of a helicopter would be purchased through private donations.


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