ALPENA - The Alpena County Veterans Council is in the process of raising money to replace one of the large flags that flies over the harbor in Alpena. Last year the city decided to move forward with displaying a smaller 20-by-38-foot flag over the 30-by-50-foot giant that has graced the shoreline for years. The move was due to the amount of abuse the flags take and the cost to repair them when they become torn. The city has an inventory of flags, but because they have been altered so many times, the life of some of them is short.
Tammy Romel, technical-one storeroom clerk for Alpena City Public Works, said currently the city only has two flags, which is below what it normally has on hand.
"Right now all we have is one small one and one of the big ones and that is low," Romel said. "We normally have three or four of them and switch them out as they tear and are sent to be fixed. At this point we are just using what we have, which includes one of the large ones, but we are moving to the smaller size because they last longer and we don't have to pay the $75 to get it fixed as often."
Romel said the cost of the 30-by-50-foot flag is about $1,400 and the 20-by-38-foot is between $550 and $600. Alpena County Veterans Director Dan Cox said the veterans council decided to put another of the large flags back into circulation, and the council will take care of the flags.
"The council has voted to take over the responsibility of maintaining the flags and that they wanted to go back to the 30-by-50," Cox said. "Right now we are taking donations which will be used toward the cost and if we don't get enough that way, then we will do something else to raise the money."
Cox said donations can be made by sending a check to the Alpena County Veterans Council (Flag Fund) 150B N. State St., Alpena, MI, 49707. Questions and concerns can also be addressed by contacting the Veterans Affairs Office at 354-9671.
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689.