Veterans Memorial reflecting pool in Carmel crumbling 10 years after it was built

Contractor closed, filed for bankruptcy

CARMEL, Ind. - Major repairs are underway at the Veterans Memorial reflecting pool in Carmel, but it's unclear how much the repairs will cost or who will pay for them.

The Call 6 team stopped by the pool Friday and found concrete crumbling around the sides of the pool and the letter "o" missing on the word "Freedom" at the entrance of the memorial.

City crews have been out for weeks draining and painting the pool.

"It's just an eyesore," said Kathy Wallace, a 16-year Carmel resident who has raised concerns at city council meetings. "It's embarrassing. When it was new and filled, it was gorgeous."

Liz Tabor, who lives in the apartments next to the reflecting pool, is also concerned.

"It's clearly in need of repair," Tabor said. "It could really be something beautiful and my apartment window looks onto it, so I'm really excited for them to get it fixed up."

Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney did some checking and found the city, through its redevelopment commission, signed a $1.9 million contract in 2002 with Eden Enterprises to build the pool.

The city blames Eden Enterprises for the faulty concrete, but the business has filed for bankruptcy and is now closed.

Kenney stopped by the office, but it was already occupied by another company, and the phone number was disconnected.

The mayor declined to speak with Kenney on camera, but spokeswoman Melanie Lentz said the city is ordering granite for the pool that is expected to arrive this fall.

When asked about costs for the repairs, Lentz did not provide an estimate.

"The scope of work is not final at this time," Lentz wrote in an email to RTV6. "However, it will include granite coping and possibly a perimeter drain that could be installed at the same time to relieve some of the pressure from the high ground water in that area. There will not be a RFP (Request for Proposal) but rather bid specifications and that process will not start for at least six weeks with work expected to  start sometime in the fall."

It's unclear if the repairs will be paid with city funds or from the Carmel Redevelopment Commission.

Former Carmel City councilman John Accetturo estimates the repairs into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and said the city needs to do a better job at maintaining its infrastructure.

"You have to maintain what you build," Accetturo said. "This area is supposed to honor our veterans."

Accetturo said that in 2008 or 2009 while he was serving on council, he became aware of leak problems at the reflecting pool.

"If you can't even maintain something for veterans, what does that say about Carmel?" Accetturo asked.

Lentz told RTV6 the statute of limitations has passed in terms of going after the contractor for installing faulty concrete.

"I don't know where they're going to come up with money for repairs," Wallace said. "The city will end up paying for it, or the CRC."

 

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