The Toledo City Council is exploring the possibility of offering discounted rates to military veterans staying at Kemp Olson Memorial Park, while encouraging area business to offer discounts to general park guests.
Council Member James Fluckinger reported during the June 16 council meeting he feels the park is becoming a symbol for local veterans’ groups and supporters due to the establishment of the Veterans Wall of Honor within the park in 2012, and said offering discounts to such patrons would help further express the community’s appreciation.
“I was thinking, because we’ve got the memorial down there, why not go a little bit further,” he said. “It might bring more people in.”
One concern Fluckinger said he had was the city’s legal ability to offer such discounts, as municipalities are barred from charging for services unequally or giving away public resources, but exceptions for certain groups are available and City Clerk Michelle Whitten said she would research Toledo’s options.
“The state has this thing about gifting of public funds,” said Mayor Jerry Pratt, adding he felt the concept was still “a good idea.”
As far as businesses offering discounts for park guests in general, Fluckinger said he has received positive feedback from establishments such as Betty’s Place, Sandy’s Pizza and St. Helens Tap House, and will continue to reach out to area businesses for support.