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Halleck Place flag won’t fly with city

For those who have followed, made a money pledge, or had any other interest in the possibility of placing a flagpole and U.S. flag on city property, it’s now a dead project.

What I hoped to be a simple project started last June has been anything but an easy pursuit.

The idea of improving this small piece of neglected property was so well received by most of the neighborhood, and many have asked about the progress over the past 10 months.

What I thought was a great and doable project, brought nothing but loopholes and hurdles thrown up by city government.

I would have loved to see this request be welcomed by the city and possibly get some help on their part in guiding me to a positive end.

It was not to be, and that’s very disheartening.

A policy was passed through Altoona City Council to allow citizens to adopt and improve city lots, but the policy instead killed any hopes of a Halleck Place flag.

In this policy, the city decided to allow flagpoles, but a 30-foot pole would have to be installed at least 45 feet from any road. In case of an auto accident, it wouldn’t fall across a roadway.

With thousands of trees, many with unsafe or rotting limbs, lining our roads and sidewalks, hundreds of aluminum light poles, countless power and telephone poles just feet from our roads, the city decides a flagpole is a hazard.

To boot, City Hall’s own 40-foot flagpole is just feet from a very busy downtown intersection, constituting a much higher potential of possible liability. But that pole is OK?

Where I see the problem with the decision making is our city solicitor. He has our mayor and council so liability paranoid that it’s pathetic.

If we lived our lives with the mindset of the solicitor, we wouldn’t chance walking outside for fear of being struck by falling sky parts.

I will still mow and maintain this property along with a second one in the neighborhood for the sake of keeping them looking as nice as possible, but will always keep in mind what some others tried to tell me early on.

And that was I was just wasting my time trying to work with the city to try and put this together.

Daniel Stuckey

Altoona

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