John Purcell/Recorder staff
Amsterdam Recreation Director Robert Spagnola talks to the Amsterdam Common Council about purchasing new flagpoles for Veterans Park
John Purcell/Recorder staff
Amsterdam officials are looking to purchase five new flagpoles to line this walkway in Veterans Park.
By JOHN PURCELL
Recorder News Staff
Though five flagpoles used to line a walkway leading to a memorial in Amsterdam’s Veterans Park, just two are currently standing. City officials are planning to replace all five before winter.
Amsterdam Mayor Michael Villa last week asked Common Council members to consider purchasing five new flagpoles for Veterans Park. The flagpoles would line a walkway that leads to a memorial honoring all city veterans.
A few years ago, the Polish American Veterans in Amsterdam donated five flagpoles to the city to be placed in the park, but the poles were not commercial grade, according to city Recreation Director Robert Spagnola. He said the donated poles are not able to withstand the normal wear and tear associated with the public site.
Spagnola said any donation is much appreciated, especially from veterans organization, but heavy duty flagpoles are needed. While Spagnola is still looking into what flagpole to purchase, he estimated a commercial grade pole would cost between $500 to $1,000.
“There were five poles there, and we even replaced a few of them, but we’re down to two again,” Spagnola told council members. “They’re rather expensive, and at this time of year there’s obviously not enough money to put five flagpoles up.”
Spagnola said a flag for each branch of United States Armed Forces had been represented across the donated poles: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard.
Fifth Ward Alderman James Martuscello in an interview Monday said the necessary funds could transferred from the general fund contingency this fiscal year to purchase the flagpoles. City Controller Matthew Agresta confirmed funds are available in the contingency line for the purchases.
Villa said the PAV’s donation was a great gesture, but the city needs to purchase poles better suited for the park.
“With the weather that we have and the amount of traffic that goes through there … you have to have commercial grade aluminum to withstand the wind and kids swinging on them,” Villa said in an interview. “We have brand new flags for all the poles, so the flags aren’t the issue.”
Spagnola said even someone leaning on the existing flagpoles could damage it.
City officials were weighing buying the flagpoles before Memorial Day, but Spagnola did not believe the poles could be purchased and installed before the holiday.
While the poles will not be installed before Memorial Day, Villa said they would be installed by Veterans Day, Nov. 11, this year.