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Town of Superior seeks public input on Marshall Fire Memorial and if one is even wanted

“What we hope to get out of the public engagement is essentially a map for how we will develop this"
Town of Superior seeks public input on Marshall Fire Memorial, if one is even wanted
Posted at 8:45 PM, Jul 06, 2023

SUPERIOR, Colo. — The Town of Superior seeks input from the community who were impacted by the Marshall Fire about installing a potential memorial.

The commemoration of the most devastating fire in Colorado's history aims to represent the resilience of the people affected. One of those people is John Bulliung who is rebuilding the home where his mother lived for more than 20 years.

“I ended up buying the house from her when I moved in to take care of her, because she had cancer," Bulliung said. “I moved in for the last three months of her life, and she wanted to die here. So I moved in so she could live here until she passed.”

Bulliung said less than two years later, the home was destroyed in the Marshall Fire. His brother and he are collaborating on rebuilding it.

“That's just one story," Bulliung said. "Everyone here has their own.”

Bulliung said he would be in favor of some kind of commemoration of the Marshall Fire in Superior. The Cultural Arts and Public Spaces (CAPS) Advisory Committee is in the very early phases of examining whether or not the town wants a memorial.

“We're seeing ideas for sculpture. Some people have recommended, like somewhere to gather," the Chair of the CAPS Committee Andrew Vaughan said. “We have had some people say that it's too soon. So, we're evaluating nothing as well... What we hope to get out of the public engagement is essentially a map for how we will develop this in the future.”

Vaughan said after learning what the town wants exactly, if a memorial is desired, then artists will be consulted to construct the final vision.

“Some people are not ready, still. But I think the majority of the community that did show up yesterday is ready to see something," Lindsey Jones, the vice-chair of the CAPS Committee, said about their public engagement event on the Fourth of July. “Some tangible feedback is folks want to see it outdoors, not indoors... There's never going to be a one size fits all, it's not going to make everyone happy. But if we can at least create the space for everyone to come and share their voice as much as possible, you know, we can feel good about our efforts to include everyone.”

Vaughan said public engagement is critical in this process.

"We don't want to build a memorial to represent people who lost their homes in the fire if they don't want it, right? So we need to find out from the people that were affected the most, the first responders, residents of the whole town, what this should look like," Vaughan said.

An online survey is available as a space where feedback can be provided about what someone would or would not like to see when it comes to a Marshall Fire Memorial in Superior. The survey closes on August 15.

"This is open to anyone, in any location, because a lot of Superior residents are currently displaced, or maybe have family members that are, you know, elsewhere that want to share their feedback as well," Jones said.

Both Jones and Vaughan said community members can also email their thoughts directly to the CAPS Committee at caps@superiorcolorado.gov.

The goal is to finish the public engagement portion of the process by the end of the year, and the results of that will be instrumental when determining next steps for a potential Marshall Fire memorial in Superior.