Groveport Village Council is sizing up the costs and locations for raising "Old Glory" in the village’s parks.
At council’s July 21 committee of the whole meeting, Parks and Recreation Director Kyle Lund presented an inventory of the flagpoles in the village’s parks as well as cost estimates involved in adding poles to parks that do not have one.
Of Groveport’s seven parks, Blacklick Park, Groveport Park, Heritage Park, and Veterans Park have flagpoles while Cruiser Park, Degenhart Park, and Orchard Park do not.
Lund recommended the village purchase three, 25 foot flagpoles, at an approximate cost of $500 each, and have them installed in the parks without flagpoles for about $200 each for an estimated total cost of $2,100.
Additionally, Lund told council that, if it wishes to install a flagpole at State Route 317 and Main Street at the entry way to the village, he recommended a 35 foot flagpole at an approximate cost of $1,000 with installation estimated at $450.
Both sets of estimates do not include the cost to run electricity to the poles to light them at night.
"Wouldn’t it be less expensive if our public works department did the installation?" questioned Councilwoman Donna Drury. "We’ve got a good crew."
Public Works Superintendent Dennis Moore indicated his department could work with whoever was doing the installation.
Councilwoman Jean Ann Hilbert asked, because their nature, if Cruiser Park (the soccer park on Old Hamilton Road) and Orchard Park (a small residential neighborhood park) really needed flagpoles.
"If we’re going to recognize what the flag stands for, then we should address it in all the parks," said Councilman Ed Rarey.
Rarey suggested a way to save on costs was to not electrically light the poles. But Hilbert noted that, according to flag etiquette, a flag must be lit if it flies at night.
"If it’s not lit, who’s going to raise and lower the flags (at sunrise and sunset)?" asked Hilbert.
Council recommended the flagpole issue be referred to the street, trees, and decorations committee and also the parks and recreation advisory commission for review. Council will await reports from both committees.
On Memorial Day, Groveport resident Mack Harris looked out his back door at the vacant flagpole in Blacklick Park and decided he had to do something about it.
He walked over to the park with an American flag he received from a veterans’ organization, which he normally flies on the front of his home, and raised it on the old flagpole in Blacklick Park.
Blacklick Park is Groveport’s oldest public park and it is believed the old flagpole was erected in the park as a 4-H project long ago. Originally the pole sat in the center of a green patch of grass that was encircled by a driveway. The driveway has long since crumbled and has been overgrown with grass. A flag had not regularly flown from the old pole for quite some time.
Harris said he’d like to see a flagpole with a flag flying in every one of Groveport’s parks. He suggested citizen volunteers could be enlisted to raise the flags in the parks.
"It’s something we the people of the village should do," said Harris on Memorial Day. "Maybe volunteers could commit to raising the flag in the parks on holidays and the first day of each month if not every day."
Harris said he hopes the idea of adding the flagpoles to the parks blossoms with village officials and spurs volunteers.