Nearly a year has passed since the last time the Great Bend community has heard about the proposal to build a memorial to honor Bill McKown. Architectural drawings for the Bill McKown Memorial statue were submitted to Great Bend city officials in July of 2017.
Friends of McKown want to build the statue in the northwest corner of Jack Kilby Square in Great Bend to honor McKown. McKown was a Great Bend resident from 1965 until the day he passed away in 2014.
Bob Feldt says the Bill McKown Memorial Committee has heard no response from the City of Great Bend on the approval of its location.
Bob Feldt Audio
McKown was a quadriplegic after suffering spine and neck injuries at the age of 19, but was heavily involved in the Great Bend community and was a Kansas delegate to the President’s Commission for the Handicapped.
The initial memorial proposal in April 2017 called for the statue to be placed in the southwest corner of the Courthouse square, but because of scheduled events and traffic on that side, Feldt says the Committee moved the intended location to the northwest.
Feldt also understood shortly after the Committee presented the idea, the City Council and the City went through a tumultuous time concerning the eventual resignation of Great Bend Police Chief Cliff Couch. Feldt believed most of the dust has settled, but the Committee has still heard no response.
Bob Feldt Audio
Feldt says it has been about a month since the Committee’s last request to speak before the Council or get confirmation on its location. The Council approved the Committee’s desire to submit an application to build the statue, but not its location.
The statue will be a life-sized scuplture of McKown in his wheelchair. Feldt estimated the project will cost $100,000 or more, money that will be raised by the Committee.