Businessman plans to build park in honor of vets


Park to honor veterans coming to Coal Valley

COAL VALLEY — Right now, it’s just an empty lot of green grass next to a parking lot.

But Wade Argo sees it as so much more.

Argo was given the go-ahead from the Village Board to build Veterans Memorial Park on the property at 2203 1st St., on the corner of 1st Street and 22nd Avenue. The lot sits adjacent to Bourbons Bar & Grill parking lot and is easily visible from U.S. Route 150.

“The reason I am doing it is because I have lived in this village for 37 years and I’ve met a lot of (good) people out here,” Argo said. “I just think that this memorial is going to symbolize what this village is about — dedication to country.

“We have a lot of veterans in this village. We have a lot of families that have had family members killed in all the wars. I think we need to honor these people.

“I think we need to show everybody what Coal Valley is all about.”

Argo believes it will cost between $40,00 and $45,000 to build, and he plans to do it all with donations. To donate, people can write checks to: Veterans Memorial c/o Blackhawk Bank & Trust, 200 1st St. Coal Valley, IL. 61240.

Renderings will soon be displayed there and at the village hall.  

He is working with a company called P & G Memorials from Canada and expects to have the renderings soon.

Argo is the owner of Argo Management Group, which has been in operation since 1984. He has been in the village for 37 years but because of a health issue was never in the service. His father had the same health issue, but Wade’s grandfather was a major general and Wade’s son was in the Air Force.

“I am just proud to do this for our military,” he said.

He plans to reach out to veteran service organizations and various companies. He envisions people and companies donating things such as marble benches and having the company’s name or whatever they want engraved on it.

He also hopes to get concrete, electrical supplies and even labor donated.

Argo plans to build the park this spring and possibly have it ready to be dedicated by Memorial Day, or, if it takes longer, another date or by Veterans Day 13 months from now.

The village had acquired a house on the property and had it demolished in 2018.

“We are excited that he is doing this,” Annette Ernst, village administrator, said. “And we are excited that it’s a good use of the land. It will be very visible for people coming in off Route 150.”

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