By Katie Dahlstrom Herald Assistant Editor
The Clinton Herald
---- — CLINTON — The Clinton City Council is on its way to bidding farewell to Liberty Avenue and welcoming Veterans Memorial Drive to the city of Clinton.
During the Tuesday Clinton City Council meeting, members unanimously agreed to move forward on a motion to change the name of Liberty Avenue from South 14th Street to South Fourth Street to Veterans Memorial Drive.
The suggestion came from Clinton veteran Bob Soesbe, who pointed out to council members that the memorial at Fifth Avenue South is dedicated to those military members who died in action. It also is mostly a Clinton County memorial, he said.
“Many cities have memorial parks or drives dedicated to all veterans, both killed in action and the living and the deceased. Since there are no buildings present with an address on that portion of Liberty Avenue, there would be no difficulty in renaming the street,” Soesbe said.
While Council members debated whether to use drive, parkway, or some other term to end the new name, they decided to use Soesbe’s original suggestion of drive.
Soesbe also asked the city consider creating a committee to oversee and fundraise for decorations somewhere on the east side of Liberty Avenue to commemorate the various wars Clinton veterans have fought.
Decorations couldn’t be considered until the project is complete and the city takes back control of the land in Liberty Square, City Attorney Jeff Farwell advised.
Although she voted as her fellow council members did, Ward 3 Councilwoman Bev Hermann raised concerns before she cast her vote about the city rushing into a name change without considering the implications.
“I kind of think we’re jumping into this real quick and I think maybe we need to take some more time on it and involve Bob every step of the way,” Hermann said.
She referenced a letter from a concerned citizen who reminded council members of the history of Liberty Avenue.
“That was a community...It’s kind of going to be going away here pretty soon because the residential area’s mostly gone already,” Hermann said.
Hermann floated the idea that the council instead bestow an honorary title on the street instead of renaming it.
“We do need to remember the people who came before us,” she added.
The item will move forward to the next regular council meeting.