Never Forget Park to go out for bid

Phase one of long-awaited memorial park expected to begin construction in spring 2024

After more than a decade, multiple blueprints and plans and a name change it seems there might be some progress for Never Forget Park.

During the October 17 meeting of the Saratoga Town Council, the governing body was provided an update from Stacy Crimmins, a member of the working group formed more than two years ago for the memorial park. With that update came a request to go out for bid for phase one of the long-awaited project.

“In phase one construction, we will be seeking bids to include sitework, curb and gutter, drainage and sidewalks. It will not include parking lot surfacing because we do not have the money for that yet,” said Crimmins.

In an interview with the Saratoga Sun earlier this year, Crimmins said despite the increase in fundraising since the formation of the working group, the ballooning cost of asphalt had stalled progress.

“The construction documents are ready and the committee has been listening to the community and made some changes to the plan. We have added 20 to 30 more parking spaces by making the green space just a bit smaller,” said Crimmins. “We have also moved the parking lot surfacing part of the project to phase three.”

Along with an announcement of changes to the construction phases—which were approved unanimously by the town council—Crimmins also announced a large donation made towards Never Forget Park.

“As far as funding goes, we would like to thank an anonymous donor and the White Family Foundation for a generous gift of $50,000 through the Embrace The Valley Fundraiser and Brush Creek Ranch,” said Crimmins.

She estimated that the $50,000 and other donations would bring the $181,648 currently held by the Town of Saratoga in a WyoSTAR account to $268,000. Crimmins estimated the cost of phase one of the project, now without paving, was approximately $321,000 leaving a delta of $53,000. Bid documents were expected to go out November 1, a public meeting would be held on November 8, a pre-bid site visit would be held on November 15 and bid documents were to be returned by November 30. Crimmins told the council she would be applying for two grants to help with the project, though other grant applications had not been successful.

“We are working on a few more by the end of the year including the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Daniels Fund,” said Crimmins.

At the meeting, the Saratoga Town Council unanimously approved Resolution 2023-14, which authorized the Town of Saratoga to apply for a grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund in the amount of $318,400.

“I believe we owe it to our veterans to finish Never Forget Park. Personally, this park means a great deal to me and my family who still mourn a veteran 10 years after his death,” said Crimmins. “As a community, we must not fail to remember the ultimate sacrifices made for us.”

Though now called Never Forget Park, it had long been named either Tyler Pickett Memorial Park or Staff Sergeant Tyler Pickett Memorial Park. The idea for the park first began in 2008, shorty after the death of Staff Sergeant Tyler Pickett. Pickett, a graduate of Saratoga High School, was the only Carbon County resident to have died in the Iraq War. In 2009, the Town of Saratoga purchased property adjacent to Veterans Island for the future home of the park.

Recently, the working group—with permission from the family of Tyler Pickett—changed the name to Never Forget Park with the intention to expand the focus from just Pickett to all who have served or currently serve in the military and to all first responders.

“Seventy percent of Saratoga’s veterans served in Vietnam, which is two times greater than any other conflict and greater than the US’s 43%,” said Crimmins. “The park will honor these veterans as well as others who were killed in action, prisoners of war, active duty or deceased by creating a serene memorial area for remembrance.”

According to Crimmins, bids for phase one of the project will be opened at the town council meeting on December 4 with 30 to 60 days to raise any remaining amount needed. By January 30, it is expected that a bid will be accepted and construction will begin on April 15.

Donations to Never Forget Park can be made to either Angus England American Legion Post 54 or the Town of Saratoga. If donations are made by check, it is asked that “Never Forget Park” be written in the memo.

The next meeting of the Saratoga Town Council will be at 6 p.m. on November 7 at Saratoga Town Hall.


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