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City Council approves contract for installation of concrete, covered picnic shelter

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: NICOLE THILL-PACHECO - A series of upgrades are planned for the McCormick Park Veterans Plaza, which has been a joint effort of the city and the St. Helens Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1440. The City Council approved two contracts this week with companies to pour concrete and install a new covered picnic shelter at the plaza.A planned upgrade to the McCormick Park Veterans Plaza has taken another step forward.

The St. Helens City Council approved two contracts with vendors Wednesday, Sept. 5, that will help move along a series of planned improvements and upgrades to the plaza, which has been planned through a partnership with the city and the St. Helens Veterans of Foreign Wars.

On Wednesday night, the City Council voted to approve a $52,000 contract with 3 Kings Environmental Inc., which will pour the concrete, and a $17,030 contract with Pacific Stainless Products Inc. & Web Steel Buildings NW, which will install a new covered picnic shelter at the plaza.

Currently, the McCormick Park plaza features two large plaques inscribed with the names of Columbia County veterans with a Blue Star Memorial flower feature between them. To the right of the plaques is a World War II 105 mm Howitzer cannon, which is on loan to the VFW Post 1440.

Additionally, last year the city of St. Helens received a $46,770 matching grant from the Oregon Parks and Recreation's State Historic Preservation Office to pay for improvements of the plaza. Working with the city, the VFW used the money to help pay for upgrades to the plaza.

The city and the VFW have been working with a local engineer to create design plans for and expansion which will feature a 20-by-40 covered shelter adjacent to the concrete plaza that currently exists.

St. Helens City Council President Doug Morten, who is also a veteran, has expressed excitement about the plaza expansion. Project leaders hope to have it completed by Veterans Day on Nov. 11.

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