Fire chief, school personnel to meet next week to select spot for huge flagpole

PAXTON — Paxton Fire Chief Denny Kingren said he plans to meet with Paxton-Buckley-Loda school district personnel next week to determine a location on school district property to place a 150-foot flagpole that would fly a huge American flag.

The meeting with PBL Superintendent Cliff McClure and the district’s director of buildings and grounds, Dave Bachtold, is planned for next Wednesday, Kingren said. Besides choosing a location for the mammoth flagpole, Kingren said he hopes to determine where to place a proposed path that would lead to the structure.

School board members last month directed McClure to work with Kingren to find a suitable location for the flagpole. Kingren suggested putting the flagpole on either the west side or north side of the high school and junior high school complex in Paxton, immediately east of Interstate 57.

Kingren also suggested that a sidewalk be built leading to the flagpole, and perhaps some type of memorial could also be built around it.

“It would do the image of the school and our community well,” Kingren told the board.

Kingren said a 12-member committee that is organizing fundraising efforts for the gigantic flagpole and 30-by-60-foot flag met Monday night and discussed the possibility of selling between 600 and 800 bricks — for $100 apiece — to help raise some of the initial $35,000 to $40,000 needed to fund the project.

The bricks, Kingren said, would memorialize veterans, police officers or firefighters, for example, and would line the edges of the sidewalk leading to the flagpole.

Details of the proposed fundraiser will be finalized once a location for the flagpole is determined, Kingren said.

Meanwhile, donations toward the purchase of the flagpole and flag are being accepted at The Frederick Community Bank in downtown Paxton. The account is under the name of the nonprofit organization Paxton PRIDE to allow the donations to be tax-deductible. To donate, checks may be written to “Paxton PRIDE” with “Grand Old Flag” or simply “Flag” listed in the memo line.

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