The 90-foot flag pole located near the aquatic center within Simpson Park will be taken down.

City Administrator Ike Holland explained that the pole is near the aquatic center — which is now being renovated and expanded —and its current location prevents maintenance of the pole.

He said he had received approval from the private citizen who donated the pole as well as from the American Legion, which has been responsible for the flag pole's maintenance.

Ed Allender, commander of the American Legion, was present at Monday night's council meeting, and told the council that the Legion is having difficulties maintaining the pole as well as the three flags that are flown from the pole (American, Missouri and POW-MIA). He also stated that the Legion's membership has declined and that the Legion no longer hosts revenue-generating bingo events.

Allender also expressed concerns that there may be some safety issues regarding the towering pole because it is welded together and that over the years they don't know what kind of deterioration has taken place.

"If the city wants to relocate it, it's OK," Allender told the council. "If the city wants to scrap it, it's OK."

Third Ward Councilman Tom Douglas said the park should have a flag.

"I'm a veteran, and I hate to see it taken down," he said. "I want a flag there to honor our veterans."

Others on the council echoed similar sentiments.

"[The flag] is an important part of the park," Second Ward Councilman Wayne Cunningham said. "I would like to see a flag in the park."

Holland stated that the park board will be tasked with working on a possible location for a flag pole.

The commander noted that a 25-foot flag pole was recently erected at the senior center at a cost of $1,200.

The existing pole at Simpson Park was originally 104 feet tall, but was shortened to 90 feet when it was relocated. Removal of the flag pole is estimated to cost $800, Holland said.