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Veterans park home to new service dog memorial, plans move forward for museum

DIXON – It’s a busy time for the Dixon Veterans Memorial Park.

The Veterans Memorial Park Commission recently installed a new monument to honor service dogs, is looking to sell one of its vehicles and got a clean bill of environmental health for its new building that will be transformed into a museum.

In August, the City Council approved buying Ron’s Automotive next door to the park at 1217 Palmyra St. for $165,000 from owners Ron and Ruth Dewey, using funds the park commission raised across many years.

The contract included a due diligence period to perform environmental tests. Commission member Al Wikoff said everything came back clean, the property title has been switched over, and they’re working with Willett, Hofmann & Associates on designs for the layout.

“We haven’t started putting hammer on wall yet, but it won’t be long until we do,” Wikoff said.

The building will house a museum showcasing military equipment, uniforms and artifacts, and there also will be space for an office and a workshop/meeting area. The project timeline is being worked out.

This week, the commission also welcomed a new monument to the park, a plaque dedicated to military service dogs.

“Dogs have been part of military history for a long time,” he said. “It really is a nice monument dedicated to the service of the dogs.”

Another completed project was putting in more water line in the park, as only half of the park had water access, and some landscaping work was also done.

The group is also selling its “deuce and a half” from the late 1980s, a 2 and 1/2 ton military cargo truck, which the park acquired and restored about a decade ago.

It was intended to be used for parades and other events, but Wikoff said they think someone else could get more use from it.

Similar vehicles can run about $10,000 to $12,000, but they’re putting out the bottom price of $4,000, he said. They reworked the engine and put on a new top canvas.

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