Seaford Volunteer Fire Department tribute in Kiwanis Park in final stages

By Lynn R. Parks

Construction in Kiwanis Park of a tribute to the Seaford Volunteer Fire Department hit a snag recently when the concrete base on which it will sit was installed incorrectly. The base, and sidewalks leading to it, were to form the shape of a Maltese cross, an eight-pointed symbol used by many firefighting organizations, including the International Association of Fire Fighters, in their badges.

That design wasnt followed, said state Rep. Danny Short, a member of the fire department and co-chairman of its tribute committee. The concrete had to be ripped out and reinstalled correctly.

That was completed about eight weeks ago. Now, Short said, the final touches are being made on the 18-foot stainless structure, being built by Miller Metal in Bridgeville. The light tubes that will sit on top of the steel structure, simulating flames, were made by JD Sign Company, Harrington.

Total cost for the monument was $99,576: $1,620 for a park survey, $1,250 for engineering, $2,500 for the foundation footing installation, $8,500 for the fabrication of the stainless steel part, $3,000 for four informational signs, $28,850 for the new sidewalks, and $53,826 for electrical work, including new lighting throughout the park and a new electric junction box. Of that, the fire company paid $16,900 and the city paid $700 plus provided $28,628 in labor and material. The state paid $54,048 from its Community Transportation Fund, including $28,850 to reimburse the city for the cost of putting in new sidewalks.

William Short, a consultant in architecture in the DuPont Co.s corporate real estate area and a member of the department, did not charge for the art design and concept drawing that he made. Engineering firm George, Miles and Buhr, Miller Metal and JD Sign Company charged less than they would have as a way to contribute to the project.

The cost to place the tribute in Kiwanis Park, which will require the use of a crane, is yet to be determined.

Once the base is complete, it and the light tubes will be assembled and tested in a Seaford warehouse, Short said. The LED lights will be programmed so that they can be changed remotely, according to the season: green and red for Christmas, for example, pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, or blue for Autism Awareness Month.

Finally, the tribute will be reassembled in Kiwanis Park, where the steel base will be bolted down. The structure will remain covered until a public unveiling ceremony, Short said. He anticipates that that will take place sometime before spring.

The monument is intended as a tribute to the fire department, as well as to its auxiliary. It will also recognize the supportive role that the city has played in the fire department, from the departments founding in 1901 through today, Short said.

Four signs, one at each sidewalk leading to the structure, will tell the stories of the fire department, the auxiliary, their relationship with the city and the monument itself.

In addition to honoring the fire department and auxiliary, this is a tribute to the community as a whole, a community that has truly helped and supported us for decades, Short said.

The monument is also intended to raise awareness of the role that the fire department plays in the community. If you need help, you just pick up the phone and dial three numbers, and help arrives, Short said. Really, that is amazing.

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