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Mitchell city leaders revamping Veterans Park signs, while awaiting arrival of new U.S. Space Force sign

The $15K sign makeover is being funded through the Veterans Park fund

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Shown here are the five signs along the Veterans Park wall in downtown Mitchell that will be replaced this year.
Sam Fosness / Mitchell Republic

MITCHELL — The signs overlooking the Veterans Park in downtown Mitchell will be getting a makeover soon.

As the signs have been withering away in the elements of Mother Nature over the past few years, Mitchell City Councilman Dan Allen felt it was time to revamp the military signs speckled along the wall of the Veterans Park. During recent city budget discussions, Allen proposed allocating $15,000 to repair the signs.

“They are really starting to fade from the sun rays, but we have the funds to upkeep them and the entire park for a reason,” Allen said of the signs. “We’ve been fortunate the signs have lasted as long as they did. We knew we would have to repair them about every four to five years.”

Allen said the $15,000 will replace the vinyl on the signs, which is used as a base overlay on the signs to make the colors shine bright.

The five signs along the wall overlooking the Veterans Park on Mitchell’s Main Street represent each branch of the U.S. military. In the near future, the park will welcome a new military sign displaying the logo of the U.S. Space Force. After the U.S. Space Force was established in 2019 to protect satellites, rocket launches and other space-related activity, Allen said the military branch deserves its place in the park.

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“We have to wait a bit yet to make sure the design is signed off on by the U.S. government, which is part of the process,” he said. “You can’t just put a custom sign up that resembles the military branch logos. It has to be spot on accurate with the approval of the military branches.”

The addition of the Space Force sign will also be funded through the Veterans Park fund that was created when the park was built in 2018. As of now, the Veterans Park fund has $65,000 set aside for maintenance and repairs. According to Allen, the Veterans Park that sits along Mitchell’s Main Street is the lone park that is self-supporting, financially.

“We haven’t had to tap into the fund much since it was built. It was built right, and that’s helped it be maintained well,” he said, noting the money in the fund can only be used for the Veterans Park.

Maintaining the Veterans Park has been a priority for Allen since it was constructed in 2018. Keeping up with the aesthetics of the park is the “least we can do for our veterans who sacrificed for us,” he said.

“It’s important we, as the city, maintain the park that means a lot to the community and veterans,” Allen said.

Since the park welcomed downtown Mitchell, it’s seen a lot of use. From military members hosting retirement ceremonies to gathering for annual Memorial Day services, the park has been a place that’s brought veterans and community members together in honor of the sacrifices past military members have given.

Over the years, the park has gained community support. Allen said several business owners have donated decorations and lights to keep the park’s aesthetics looking good.

“This park was worth every bit of effort I gave in helping to fund raise for it. It’s been awesome seeing how the community has rallied around the park so much since it was built,” Allen said.

Related Topics: VETERANS
Sam Fosness joined the Mitchell Republic in May 2018. He was raised in Mitchell, S.D., and graduated from Mitchell High School. He continued his education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in English. During his time in college, Fosness worked as a news and sports reporter for The Volante newspaper.
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