Cenotaph in downtown Chatham June 18, 2015 (Photo by Simon Crouch)Cenotaph in downtown Chatham June 18, 2015 (Photo by Simon Crouch)

Several veteran memorials to get upgrades across Chatham-Kent

Several veteran memorials across Chatham-Kent will be getting a number of upgrades in the near future.

Council voted to cover the costs of up to $200,000, from the parks and recreational facilities reserve, to renovate veteran memorial parks within the municipality.

According to a report presented to council, the work to be completed includes adding lights, benches, fencing, and plaques at the Chatham cenotaph and the Wheatley Memorial.

The addition of "Cpl Harry Milner, VC" name to the Blenheim memorial and the replacement of the plaque at the Bothwell memorial.

The municipality will also apply for partial funding of the refurbishments to the federal government’s Canada Community War Memorial funding program.

"Up to 50 per cent of eligible expenditures, not exceeding a maximum of $25,000, may be reimbursed," read the report. "A minimum of 25 per cent of the applicant’s portion of the overall project cost must be cash, while up to 25 per cent can be in-kind contributions."

Earlier this month, Chatham-Kent police reported vandalism at the Chatham cenotaph, which included two swastikas being spray painted on the monument.

This was the second time in four months that the cenotaph in Chatham has been vandalized.

Noting the staff report was in the works before the vandalism occurred, Councillor Alysson Storey asked about potential security measures.

General Manager of Infrastructure and Engineering Edward Soldo said the municipality has been in discussions with the police service on the matter, adding that more details would be released at a later date.

Mayor Darrin Canniff said that security cameras will be installed at the cenotaph.

“In speaking with the chief of police, yes, there will be a camera being put there in short order,” said Canniff.

The report mentions that work on other Chatham-Kent memorials is not planned at this time.

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