August 3, 2022
By David Nordby
The Brillion News
The complete version of this article can be seen in the August 4, 2022 print edition of The Brillion News.
BRILLION – When Derek Emmer drove by the corner of Fairway Drive and South Main Street and passed Heritage Park for the last 10 years, he wondered what he could do to improve it.
“I drive by it every day to go to my house and it always kind of bothered me a little bit. I thought it could have used a lot of improvement in that area because the flagpole is leaning at an angle. When a flag is flown on that flagpole, it's not lit up at night. I kind of find that disrespectful to the flag so I always thought, OK, what can I do to make this better,” Emmer said.
Now, with the City of Brillion's approval, Emmer is fundraising through the non-profit Grow Foundation to raise at least $20,000 for a landscaping project that would beautify the area with a new flagpole, lights to shine on the American flag, sidewalks and benches.
Phase one would include tree removal, the old flagpole removal, new flagpole installation and electrical run. The second phase would be light installation, building a sidewalk around the flagpole, a sidewalk from the corner to the round sidewalk, remaining tree removal and landscaping rocks around the flagpole. The third phase would be all of the remaining sidewalk on the south side of the flagpole, the sidewalk from the corner to the round sidewalk and installation of a new Heritage Park sign.
The electrical run for lighting needs to come from the main building, which is approximately 540 feet away. That will be one of the most expensive parts of the project at $4,750.
In just less than two months, the project was conceptualized from Emmer to Tammy Williams, who has helped mentor Emmer on the project, he said.
“This is all new to me figuring this out, planning, asking for donations, raising money. All that stuff is just new to me,” Emmer said.
Emmer and Williams met with Brillion Public Works Director Austen Frederickson, who has a landscaping background. Frederickson helped create the conceptual drawings of the project.
In a quick process, it reached the Brillion Park and Recreation Commission and then was approved by the City of Brillion last week.
“They had a lot of questions. They wanted to make sure it was maintenance free for the city, that it was going to be fully funded and it's not going to come out of the city's budget,” Emmer said.
When Emmer imagines the corner of Fairview and South Main Street, it is designed to leave an impression.