Nearly five years after the bus accident that took the life of Pelican Rapids' student Jessica Weshair, a permanent memorial is in the works within the city of Albertville and the Albertville Fire Department.
Due to the I-94 construction the original roadside memorial that had been established had to be moved and has been stored by the Albertville Fire Department. The Weshairs family along with city engineer Adam Nafstad, four members of the Albertville Fire Department and a landscape architect came together to plan a memorial.
"It's a call all of us still remember," Albertville Fire Chief Tate Mills said of the accident. Albertville Fire was among the first on the scene. "We've worked very closely with Jessica's mom and dad to figure out what would be best, and what would fit."
"The goal was to create a space to reflect this person's life and her memory," Nafstad explained to council on Monday night. "The goal was to be rustic and simple and also incorporate butterflies because she loved butterflies."
According to Nafstad, the memorial location fits in well with the future expansion plan of the trail system. It's to be located on Albertville owned property located at the northwest quadrant of 62nd and 63rd Street NE, for an estimated amount of $11,700.
With the exception of the grading and base, it is proposed that the memorial be constructed largely by city and volunteer forces and also possibly an Eagle Scout who has expressed interest to Mills. The grading process will be incorporated with the I-94 project on a time and material basis with the cost estimated to be approximately $1850. The remainder of the amount is materials.
There is money in the city's Working Capital Budget that allows for the payment of the project.