Promise in writing not to use city money

October 29, 2013 

The Sept. 11 Memorial Walkway of Southern Illinois Committee hasn't asked Belleville for any money and has no plans to do so, we're told repeatedly. Still, Alderwoman Lillian Schneider is s.mart to want to get that in writing.

The memorial is set to be built on city-owned land at Firehouse No. 4. So far, the committee has raised $70,000 of the estimated $100,000 needed.

Sharon Strausbaugh, the committee vice president, seemed a bit flustered by Schneider's request. "Why are we making an issue out of something that isn't even an issue?" she asked. So everyone is clear from the start and money never does become an issue.

Spoken words can be forgotten, twisted or easily ignored, but the written word is difficult to dispute or deny.

And just because the memorial committee hasn't asked for city help doesn't mean it hasn't been considered. Mayor Mark Eckert has already shared a scenario justifying the city pitching in on a parking lot should the committee fall short raising money. Firefighters could use it during training, he said. Right, how often is extra parking needed? A few times a year?

The Sept. 11 memorial is a great idea, but the generous gift of the land should be the extent of the city's contribution. Now's the time to get that in writing.

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