By Amy Kent
Herald Staff Writer
CLINTON — Residents can expect to see a new name while driving along the riverfront in Clinton, as it will soon be called Veteran's Memorial Drive, but not from a legal standpoint.
At a committee of the whole meeting Tuesday, the council decided a debate about changing the name of the street, agreeing unanimously to approve a commemorative name change to the heavily traveled road.
By approving only the commemorative name, the city avoids challenges that could come with forcing businesses to change their address.
"Normally cities say that they don't like to change the official names of streets because then you have to change official address names. You're looking at the Showboat, Candlelight, the marina and the pool, too," City Attorney Jeff Farwell said. "When I was looking at this, Des Moines has a process where you have commemorative or honorary designation, basically, you put up another sign in a different color, attach it and then you don't mess with the addresses."
Now that a decision has been made by the council, the businesses located on Riverview Drive are happy to not make any changes to their addresses, but are supportive of the council's decision to honor local veterans.
"Veterans are an important part of all of our lives and it's great to honor them," Clinton marina manager Cindy Brackemeyer said. "But, it's also good that people will still know they're on Riverview Drive. It's a great thing that we're sharing it."
Candlelight Inn general manager Tom Frump agreed and added that he would not have anticipated any issues with changing the address officially.
"Other than spending money re-doing signage and businesses cards, I don't think it would have affected us too much," Frump said. "(But), we definitely get the best of both worlds now."
The next step in implementing the new commemorative street designation will be to decide the style and color of the signage that will be placed along Riverview Drive, a choice At-Large Councilwoman Jennifer Graf feels the council should not be granted with.
"Let's leave that for the veterans to decide. It's their street," Graf said.
Also discussed at Tuesday's meeting, and several meetings prior to Tuesday, was changing the name of Liberty Avenue as well.
However, after deciding to honor the veterans on Riverview Drive, the council felt that changing both would be unnecessary and would create issues that didn't need to be created.
"There are a lot of problems on Liberty Avenue with regard to the state implementing requirements for the land development and land takeover," At-Large Councilman John Rowland said. "There's quite a few steps involved, in fact there's four, so that would make, or prohibit to try and do something as it was presented to the committee, almost impossible at this point."
The discussion of changing the name of Liberty Avenue could happen in the future, but as for right now, it remains unchanged.