Ground broken on Marshall County Courthouse Veterans Memorial Wednesday morning

T-R PHOTOS BY ROBERT MAHARRY — The design team behind the Marshall County Courthouse Veterans Memorial poses for a photo during a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday morning. Pictured from left to right are Board of Supervisors Chairman Jarret Heil, Mike Hanken of the Marshalltown Combined Honor Guard, Marshall County VA Director Kevin Huseboe, Navy veteran and businessman Vic Hellberg, County VA Commissioner Randy Kessler, MCBD Executive Director Deb Millizer and County Veteran Services Officer Shari Coughenour.

Marshall County Veterans Affairs Director Kevin Huseboe continually finds himself both in awe and humbled by the amount of generosity he sees in the communities he serves.

During Wednesday morning’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Huseboe came before the board to provide an update on the Veterans Affairs Commission’s memorial project to be constructed at the southwest corner of the courthouse property, and he reiterated just how overwhelming the financial support has been before demonstrating the latest example.

About a month and a half ago, Devin Stowell with Con-Struct came into Huseboe’s office and told him the company wanted to donate the labor for the slab and foundation work on the project while charging a “nominal fee” of $4,320 for the concrete — the engineer’s estimate was $36,785.

“What an incredible gift. It just doesn’t stop. It just humbles me every day. I’m just baffled by the outpour from the community, from the board of supervisors for allowing us to place this on the courthouse property,” Huseboe said.

Through a combination of major contributions — $40,000 from the State of Iowa’s Veterans Project Assistance license plate program, $25,000 from the Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation (which was accepted during Wednesday’s meeting) and $25,000 from the county — and smaller individual and family donations, Huseboe said they have met their originally established fundraising target of $150,000 in less than five months, and the money that comes in from here on out will be put toward long-term maintenance — that goal is $10,000.

Heil and Huseboe officially break ground on the project while Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs Commandant Todd Jacobus, County VA Commissioner Dave Streets, Kessler and fellow Commissioner Bob Grimes stand behind them.

Board Chairman Jarret Heil thanked Huseboe for all of his legwork on the project, which will honor the veterans of conflicts from World War I all the way up to the recent operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Huseboe encouraged those in attendance to stick around for the blessing and groundbreaking after the meeting adjourned.

Heil was particularly thankful for Con-Struct’s donation.

“That’s incredible, so we appreciate that. And that’s just a testament to our veterans and our people in Marshall County, and I think it’s gonna be a nice showcase to the entrance of downtown coming from the south,” he said.

A motion to award the quote to Con-Struct passed unanimously along with a subsequent motion to accept the grant from the Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation. Heil felt that the project fit well within the organization’s vision, and Supervisor Carol Hibbs, who sits on the MET Foundation’s board of directors, said they were happy to see the broad-based community support as well as the financial commitment from the supervisors.

“I think it was very important for them to see all of that support, and they were very pleased to be a part of it,” Hibbs said.

Huseboe added that it was fascinating to see the memorial evolve “from a vision to reality,” and he “couldn’t say thank you enough” to the people who have helped to bring it to where it is today.

After the public comment period and adjournment of the regular meeting, the celebration moved outside for the official groundbreaking and recognition on a beautiful spring day. Heil delivered a brief introductory address and called for a moment of silence to honor late veterans before a prayer and blessing performed by Reverend Richard Graves.

With county staff and community members gathered around, Heil and Huseboe recognized the design committee, comprised of the two of them, Mike Hanken, Vic Hellberg, Randy Kessler, Deb Millizer and Shari Coughenour, and he also welcomed county VA commissioners Bob Grimes and Dave Streets, who serve alongside Kessler, and Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs Commandant Todd Jacobus forward for the groundbreaking.

The goal is to have the memorial completed by Sept. 11, but Heil promised that it would definitely be finished by the end of the year. McCall Monument of Newton is creating it.

“When everybody is behind a project like this, it’s easy to get done,” Heil said afterward.

Huseboe is excited about creating a monument that will last “a long time.”

“I just want to tell everyone thank you for what you do and what you’ve done to say thank you to all of us veterans,” Huseboe said. “This thing is gonna draw a lot of traffic and tourism to Marshall County and rightfully so, just to say thank you to veterans and seeing what this is about. I’m not gonna disclose a lot of the design. That’s kind of a surprise (for) when it’s done, but it’s gonna be deeply appreciated. I can tell you that.”

In other business, the board:

• Approved the consent agenda as listed.

• Approved the hiring of Bill Carey as a seasonal naturalist intern at an hourly rate of $15.25 from May 20 to Aug. 31.

• Approved the hire of Julie Stahl as a seasonal conservation aid at an hourly rate of $15.50 from April 10 to Oct. 1.

• Approved scheduling a special meeting for June 26 for an additional claims run prior to the end of the fiscal year.

• Approved a new lease contract for copiers in the Department of Health and Human Services office and authorized the chairperson to sign.

• Approved the quarterly transfer of $700,000 from the Rural Services Fund to the Secondary Roads Fund.

• Approved a one-time transfer of $1,894,156.21 from Capital Projects to General Basic of the remaining balance from the courthouse project and subsequently approved moving that money from General Basic to General Supplemental.

• Approved the Secondary Roads FY 2024 Iowa DOT budget amendment, the Secondary Roads FY 2025 Iowa DOT budget and the FY 2025 Secondary Roads construction program.


Contact Robert Maharry at 641-753-6611 ext. 255 or rmaharry@timesrepublican.com.


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