An Ogdensburg Woman's Push to Get a Fighter Jet in Morrisette ParkPosted: Updated:
Rhonda Roethel is shopping for a fighter jet, just like one on the deck of postcards she has. Or maybe one that is soaring in a town not far away. It would first of all be a tribute to veterans. She has told them about the idea.
“They were ecstatic. They were totally ecstatic that they thought we were going to remember them in this way," Roethel, the Ogdensburg businesswoman and activist said. "It's going to be for every veteran that ever served.”
She also feels it can be a tourist draw. It will be highly visible in part of Morrisette Park. The plane is basically free from the federal government. However, rehabbing it, transporting it and everything else will be up to the city.
“I think we can do it all with private fundraising," said Ogdensburg Mayor Wayne Ashley. "And it's my understanding we will be getting the plane on loan. … there won't be any expense to taxpayers.”
The military jet in Brasher Falls is a good example of what Roethel and others want to see in Ogdensburg. It's a landmark in Brasher Falls and a symbol of patriotism in a small town.
It cost about $100,000 to get the plane soaring in Brasher Falls. Veterans groups spearheaded the effort there. They say it has been totally worth it. Roethel and city officials think they can do the same.
“We've overcome our initial hurdles. We are on the downside now,” said Roethel.
Roethel has received her first federal approval. More are needed. There will be plenty of sign-offs required of city officials. But they feel the jet would be one more way to help Ogdensburg soar again.