HOUTZDALE — A groundbreaking ceremony was held Saturday for Trella Memorial Park, Houtzdale Borough’s first public park.
The park is located at 601 Brisbin St. and will include a 20-foot gazebo, park benches, a fountain, flag poles, a memorial wall and a four-space parking lot with handicapped parking.
The gazebo will have electrical service to be used for events such as concerts, weddings, etc. according to Houtzdale Borough Councilman Zachary Bloom. He said Houtzdale Borough doesn’t have an outdoor venue like this presently.
“It’s very exciting for us do be doing something like this,” Bloom said.
The park is dedicated to the late Andrew F. Trella, and Sgt. William R. Trella, two local brothers who gave their lives in the service of their county in World War I and World War II.
Andrew Trella was killed at the age of 24 while fighting in Northern France on Oct. 18, 1918 and is buried at Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, France.
William Trella was killed at the age of 28 while fighting in North Africa on April 23, 1943 and is buried at North Africa American Cemetery, Carthage, Tunisia.
“Thank you for naming this park after two local heroes who gave everything in the service of their country,” Major Justin Gilday, U.S Army Reserves, of Harrisburg, who represented the Trella family at the ceremony.
Mayor Izen Lingenfelter also presented Gilday with a key to the town for his service.
The park will also have a memorial stone donated by the Trella family. The borough is also planning to have a memorial wall to memorialize all service members, but they aren’t sure how it would look yet, Bloom said.
Bloom noted the Trellas were buried overseas and do not have a local memorial and the park would serve as a memorial to all veterans.
The park will be located at a lot approximately 150 feet long and 50 feet wide and is expected to cost $196,000, according to engineer Dan Byer of the EADS Group of Altoona.
Houtzdale Borough has applied for a state Department of Community and Economic Development grant to pay for 85 percent of the cost, but they don’t know yet if they received the grant, Byers said.
Regardless of whether the borough receives the grant, Bloom said the park would be built, but it would be built in phases.
Bloom also thanked the Houtzdale Municipal Authority for helping them acquire the land, Houtzdale Moose Lodge No. 327 for donating funds to the project, the Houtzdale Borough Council Parks and Revitalization Committee and the borough’s engineer EADS Group, who spent many hours working on the project.