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Rochester, MN(KROC AM News) - A new Rochester memorial that has been in the planning stages for several years is finally moving ahead and work is expected to begin this year.

The Rochester Park Board has given its final approval to the planned Southeast Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial.

Kim David/TSM

The site at Soldiers Field Park near the Veterans Memorial was approved by the Park Board in 2016. That allowed organizers to begin fundraising and working on site layout plans and memorial designs.

Olmsted County Sheriff Kevin Torgerson has been heavily involved in the project. He says the organizing group is working on a date for a ceremonial groundbreaking. The paperwork for necessary building permits was submitted Wednesday.

Olmsted County photo

Like so many other projects and events, the final planning stage was delayed last year because of the pandemic.

Torgerson says the construction schedule from start to finish is 30 months.

He says the foundation that will own and operate the memorial is in the final stages of fundraising with an overall goal of $500,000. Torgerson says this will include funds set aside for ongoing maintenance and future expenses.

He says the memorial is meant “to honor fallen officers from municipal, state, federal and military agencies operating in Rice, Steele, Freeborn, Mower, Dodge, Olmsted, Goodhue, Wabasha, Winona, Fillmore, and Houston counties.”

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