Final phase of Leander’s Veterans Park to include labyrinth, parking and statue

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An eagle statue, labyrinth and more parking will soon come to Veterans Park in Leander.

The additions are part of the third and final phase of the park’s construction, which is located at 1011 S. Bagdad Road, Leander. Phase III constructs a parking lot connecting to Sonny Drive, adds a labyrinth near the south entrance of the site and places an eagle statue in the center of the park’s military flag overlook.

Leander City Council unanimously approved Fazzone Construction, Inc., which constructed Phase II of the project, to construct the third phase of the park for $450,150.32 during a meeting March 7.

The council also voted 6-1, with Mayor Troy Hill opposed, to authorize the city to spend $100,000 on the eagle sculpture for the park. Artist John Maisano was selected to execute the sculpture.

Maisano has worked on projects throughout the state, most recently at the Waco Sculpture Zoo and Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, according to city documents. Maisano said the eagle project, which could be 6-12 feet in size, means a lot to him because his father is a veteran.

“It’ll probably be one of the most amazing things I get to create in my career,” Maisano told council during the March 7 meeting. “What I envision creating is not just an eagle that is realistic. There’s a bit of stylization to it, which adds power to the creature.”

Hill said he thinks the statue is going to be beautiful but he questions the cost.

“I don’t know how we got to this point to spend $100,000 on a statue,” Hill said. “I feel like somewhere along the line we just lost perspective… We just throw around money like it’s out of a PEZ dispenser. Are we really helping [veterans]by doing that?”

Parks and Recreation Director Mark Tummons said the cost for the statue is pretty standard, based on other communities that have done similar, large projects like this one.

Council member Shanan Shepherd said she is excited to see the final statue.

“This is a legacy for many generations,” Shepherd said.

Brandon Hay of consulting company Halff Associates said construction on Phase III is anticipated to begin either at the end of March or beginning of April and will take three months. Hay said the first two phases were complete by fall 2017 and included two plazas overlooking a pond, a wall of honor plaza and a walkway equipped with seating areas.

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16 comments
COMMENT
  1. A 12 foot eagle? Let’s hope it is really 12′ and they don’t do like in Spinal Tap with Stonehenge, confuse feet with inches and make a 12 inch model.

    I think we’d do better with a 12 foot statue of Kent Kegel, standing defiantly, holding a gordita in one hand and the Smart Code in the other!

  2. Mayor Hill is only objecting to the statue because the park is the result of the efforts of former Mayor Fielder whom he despises. Hill, who has done nothing since taking office, is a disappointment who claimed he’d do great things as Mayor and, after almost a year in office, has produced nothing but record long council meetings and an unorganized council. The hundred grand for a custom statue honoring our nation and our local veterans is appropriate and will be lasting, Hill will not. Fortunately we won’t have a statue of Hill standing defiantly with a BB gun in one hand and a Whataburger in the other.

  3. Pitts,
    This is about fiscal responsibility, not whether veterans are deserving. How does a $100K statue help veterans? That money would be better spent in donations to veteran charities, but that is not a proper use of taxpayer dollars either.

    Wake up.

  4. A singular voice, one vote alone on the council can’t introduce change, we need a unified council that makes informed, pragmatic and fiscally responsible decisions. Currently there are too many sitting on the council that oppose Troy’s direction and leadership if only out of spite.

    As a respected voice of the community, I would like to endorse Jason Shaw, Chris Czernek and Kathryn Pantalion-Parker for city council. I know that with this group of dedicated leaders at the helm, Leander will be steered into a positive direction for once. It is time to bring Troy’s vision to life! Hill Yes!

  5. Jason Diphthong

    When Chris and I was in power, we planned lots of statues. It is what we need. We don’t need polluting businesses coming in here, we need more apartments for waiters to live in, Waitresses too, especially. They will all admire the statues. We don’t need to worry about money because the new residents will pay taxes. That is how it works. What is wrong with Mayor Hill, worrying about the future. As long as I can lay more pipes under new streets, my future is so bright I have to wear nuclear sunglasses. We should have parks and statues every 500 yards, for the waitresses living in condos to go and sunbathe there. This is my world, I am still in power for another month or so.

  6. Leander "Catfish" Brown

    Look at all these absurd comments by immature punks. The level of intelligence since the town was formed in my day has decreased significantly.

    The marvels of technology seen here on the internets only makes the stupidity of these people travel higher, faster, and further like that perfect super hero Captain Marvel.

    McTaco, seems to have a problem with the City Manager but lacks the guts to confront him or anyone else except from behind the keyboard. Coward.

    Pitts, you have problems with the Mayor and, like simpleton McTaco, also lack the balls to confront him as well. I bet you are both children with access to mommy and daddy’s computer. Hell, I bet you are actually the same person.

    Common, you ask others to wake up when it is apparent that you need to open your eyes. You seem to be preaching, stop it. Where was the financial responsibility when the park was first approved? Where were you then, big guy/gal?

    Carla, look at you plugging away for political candidates! Can’t help but notice you picked three that have little or no experience that is relevant. Haven’t you figured out that all politicians are untrustworthy? Do what Common says and wake the hell up!

    Jason, your ability to communicate in writing is really weak. Is English a second language for you? Why demonstrate your illiterate ravings here? You think Mayor Hill really gives a damn? You also need to wake the hell up. You have zero power and keep your pipes to yourself. Freak.

    All of you dipsticks failed to see that this park was approved by voters and the budgets were available for the last couple of years. Complaining now just confirms your stupidity and that none of you morons have any facts. Where were your complaints and snarky comments back when it really mattered? Like I stated earlier, the intelligence has gone down.

    • So we are all cowards, incognito – hiding our true identity?

      Says the one that is claiming to be Leander “Catfish” Brown (1817-1889).

      If it is you, “Catfish”, and you have found the infinity stones and somehow managed to prolong your natural life expectancy, I encourage you to think back of the days when you were the Mayor of Leander.

      What would you do if the town wanted to spend a great deal of its budget on a statue of an eagle for those that fought in the Civil War? Maybe a statue of chicken?

      • Pesky human fast-food consumer! I control the stones! I snap my fingers and then behold: no more chalupas for you!

  7. Chicken Romancer

    Get ’em, Catfish! They are all spineless cowards are they not?! I can speak from experience when I say that we as citizen journalist have to be confrontational with these corrupt local politicians. I for one have followed candidates from their work, from their home, at local restaurants. Be sure to always have a camera ready to catch them in the act too! If push comes to shove, you can always document their evil doings online with a WP site….at least until they get an attorney after you :/

  8. Political Realty

    Don’t you people realize that statues make people happy? That’s what taxpayer money is supposed to be used for.

    Unpaid council people volunteer selflessly, even if it does help our business. And no, it’s not an ethics issue, we just work for the same broker.

    • I’d rather our tax dollars went to necessities before some nebulous goal of “make people happy”.

  9. Reggie Lovejoy

    @Catfish – Let me get this straight, because things seem like they are getting all out of sequence here.

    The people of Leander voted on this matter two years ago? So what did the council vote on last night? Perhaps a large sum was approved two years ago for park improvements under Proposition 2, but there was nothing in that agreement which dictated 100K was going to be reserved specifically for a statue of an eagle, correct? If I am wrong, why did the council recently vote on this issue of the statue? Hmmm.

    Perhaps you are having trouble figuring out what people are complaining about here, it is not the 26 million for Proposition 2, it is the fact that they are spending 100K of it on a statue – that is the chief complaint. Maybe this money could be leveraged more intelligently.

    Perhaps McTaco and the others voted against prop 2 two years ago? You are making a lot of assumptions. Either way, prop 2 didn’t say anything about a custom eagle statue.

    The town’s population has doubled in the past five years. More capable people than you are moving out to these parts. It is time for the old guard to fade away. The local small town thugs, gun store owners, native sons, homecoming kings and pretty homecoming queens of yesteryear aren’t going to be able to quietly run things anymore without anyone noticing the conflict of interest and back alley dealings.

    I really don’t get the childish remarks about confronting the city manager. This is the same guy that has had his own council members arrested when he was city manager up in Duncanville, TX. I can only imagine how he’d respond to confrontation from a common citizen, passive or violent. Trust me, if an old fashioned duel, browbeating or Indian leg wrestling match was all it takes to influence change in the community, people would be real fast to approach the city manager, fortunately this isn’t the 19th century anymore and we can conduct ourselves with more of a refined sensibility.

  10. Jason Diphthong

    When Chris and I run this town in back rooms, you people were not even zygotes yet. Catfish died long ago. You are probably the chicken lady who likes special activities in cages. We disdain such things. We built so many cookie cutter homes that sadly people like you got in. It’s an unfortunate side effect. Take the high road on grammar? Sure, OK. You win.

  11. Adam "Cuck" Benegrifter

    Look, I don’t care how old you are or what you’ve done 20 some years ago, Leander needs strong leadership NOW and it needs a LEADER with some experience in running a successful business – in other words, this city needs a man with TENACITY. I made a water irrigation business from scratch, while living with my newly wed wife in an attic, now a few short years later, my business has a near 5 star average on Yelp.

    Secondly, I will look any man in his face and settle the matter with him right then and there. None of this keyboard warrior business, I’ll put that city manager on a leash if needed.

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Marisa Charpentier
Marisa Charpentier joined Community Impact in September 2018. After working as an intern, she became a reporter for the Cedar Park | Leander edition in October 2018. Charpentier graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with degrees in journalism and Plan II Honors.
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