With the recently approved land purchase agreement between the City of Turlock and Turlock Irrigation District, the City has moved the cannon previously outside of the War Memorial, although a permanent spot has not yet been chosen.
On April 28, Turlock City Council unanimously approved to sell three properties at 247 E. Canal Dr., 900 N. Palm St., and 250 Starr Ave. to TID at a price of $2.61 million.
The property sale, which includes the War Memorial, former Turlock Police Station, and Brandon Koch Memorial Skate Park, has been in talks for more than two years.
Although the agreement is now in place, it will not be finalized until Aug. 26, due to a grant that helped pay for the skate park and required the park remain open for 10 years. Once finalized, TID will lease the War Memorial to the City of Turlock to meet obligations through Feb. 29, 2016.
With the finalization eminent, the City of Turlock is moving the cannon that has stood in front of the War Memorial for years.
“It’s the City’s intent that we will find a new home for the cannon,” said Director of Parks, Recreation, and Public Facilities Allison Van Guilder. “It’s not going to out to the yard and be forgotten.”
Now it’s the City of Turlock’s job to find a new home for the cannon, and all signs appear to be pointing to Central Park, located at the corner of E. Main Street and Golden State Boulevard.
The Turlock Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission (PARC) met Wednesday to have a public discussion on the relocation and received public support from several local veterans groups, all though they want to be involved in the process.
“It is a good suggestion,” said Andrew Mojarras, Commander of the Disabled American Veterans – Turlock Chapter 74. “The only thing is I ask one, that the veteran groups — which is American Legion, VFW, Disabled American Veterans — are involved in the positioning of the cannon, also that they’re… once the cannon is in place, allowed to put a plaque under the cannon, so when people do view the cannon, they know there’s veteran groups here in Turlock."
VFW Commander Mike Seward echoed similar sentiment, being in favor of a public location, such as Central Park.
“We’re in full support of the City moving it to a more public location, giving it the honor and respect it deserves for the veterans,” said Seward, although he also mentioned he would rather have it in front of the VFW.
PARC will hold a public hearing on June 10, where the new home of the cannon will be determined. The public is encouraged to attend the meeting and share their input.
Once the new location is determined, the City of Turlock will highlight the cannon at several local events, including the Fourth of July Parade in Downtown Turlock, before it is placed.
The City of Turlock is planning to make a cement pad for the cannon to sit on and will likely place an iron fence around the cannon to prevent vandalism. If all goes according to plan, the City of Turlock would have a dedication of the cannon’s new location on Veteran’s Day.
“Once all of that is in place, the goal would be that we would have all of that done by Veteran’s Day,” said Van Guilder.