CLINTON — The city of Clinton officially decided to honor one group of Clinton residents and is working its way toward honoring another.
During its Tuesday meeting, the Clinton City Council finalized the resolution to give Riverview Drive the commemorative name Veterans Memorial Drive.
None of the addresses along Riverivew Drive will change, but all the Riverview Drive signs will be accompanied by a Veterans Memorial Drive sign in honor of area veterans.
Naming a street for area veterans hit some detours after the idea was first introduced in late August.
Clinton veteran Bob Soesbe asked the city to rename Liberty Avenue Veterans Memorial Drive because although the city has other military memorials, it doesn’t have any to honor all veterans who have served, are serving or will serve.
However, after forwarding the idea, council members questioned if Liberty Avenue was the right street to be renamed. Their second-guessing brought Riverview Drive into the mix and council members finally decided on the commemorative change.
Soebse told the Clinton Herald he never would have brought the idea forward if he thought it would end with a commemorative name rather than an actual street name change.
“I’m a little disappointed that they didn’t do Liberty Avenue,” Soesbe said, pointing out it would have been a better street to place military memorials along. “I think we need more than a hyphenated name, but I guess we will have to live with it.”
Among the things that made council members doubt the Liberty Avenue change was honoring South Clinton and all its former residents.
Now, city officials plan to address the concerns raised regarding South Clinton by placing some sort of memorial near the residential area that has been replaced by Archer Daniels Midland and Liberty Square.
At-large Councilwoman Jennifer Graf called South Clinton one of three areas of Clinton, akin to the Lyons District, and said it needs to be acknowledged in some way, such as with a plaque.
“We have effectively eliminated the community of South Clinton through acquisition of property with ADM,” Graf said. “It was a vital, thriving community that is no longer and I would like us to do something to commemorate that it was in existence at one time.”
Graf’s fellow council members supported her idea, but as to what the memorial should be, they were less sure. They directed Mayor Mark Vulich to work with the Clinton County Historical Society to draft an idea or design for what the honorary marker could be.