A long-awaited Orange Township veterans memorial is moving forward.
Township resident Ben Grumbles was appointed last month by trustees as the memorial advisory coordinator.
Grumbles said he organized efforts around the "three pillars" of location, funding and a formal concept with construction-ready documents.
He is working with Lisa Kraft, chairwoman of the Orange Township Outreach and Communications Committee, and Rob Quigley, a former trustee who lost a re-election bid in November.
"This is ground zero. We're going to work collectively and support each other and partner to make this the best memorial that we can for the township," Grumbles said. "When you look at the memorial (plans), the important note is that there is nothing more than a concept at this point."
The design and theme of the memorial were part of a 2014 contest that was won by Orange High School students.
It features a 4-by-8-foot granite statue of a waving American flag at the center of a star. It also includes a pentagon-shaped area with paver bricks and flagpoles flying the flag of each military branch.
The two potential memorial locations are at the Township Hall Park, 1680 E. Orange Road, or at the northeast corner of Orange and South Old State roads.
Township property at the intersection -- where the historic Old Orange Township hall sits -- was considered the front-runner for the memorial site, but plans were put on hold after Delaware County last year started work on a $15 million project to widen South Old State Road and add turn lanes.
The contractor on the road project, Kenmore Co., used a lot at the intersection near the old township hall as a staging area for construction equipment. In exchange, the company offered to provide grading work at the site for free.
Roadwork is expected to wrap up this year and the company cannot grade the site without plans.
Township trustees June 18 approved using $2,500 from the Orange Township Veterans Memorial Fund for an engineering site survey.
Once that step is done, the work of finalizing a construction-ready design and moving forward with fundraising can begin in earnest, Grumbles said.
The memorial is estimated to cost about $80,000, officials said.
"We know that there's potential for donations," Grumbles said. "I feel good about saying that those numbers are realistic."
Trustees in 2014 opened an account for donations through the nonprofit Delaware County Foundation to raise money for the project.
Thus far, the fund has raised about $26,000, said Lisa Knapp, trustee chairwoman.
The township expects to use a new Orange Township Veterans Memorial Facebook page to solicit feedback from residents on a location for the memorial.
"There is still some debate from the public regarding the location," Knapp said. "Times have changed and we owe it to the residents to see whether they would prefer that the memorial be located on that corner or at the more peaceful Township Hall."
The Facebook page will have a "donate now" link to the Orange Township Veterans Memorial Fund.
"The No. 1 thing is that (people) want their children and family members to be remembered," Grumbles said. "They didn't serve to be in the limelight when they got home, but putting a memorial in a visible place, and in the right place, is meaningful and important.
"I think there will be an outpouring of support once there is a construction drawing and people see something," he said. "It is important to so many people."