C Hill Flag Progresses In Carson City

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Local volunteers think they've found a way to meet the Forest Service's concerns that a new 8,000-square-foot flag on C Hill would act as a giant mirror blinding motorists and pilots:

They're painting non-reflective, clear varnishes over the panels to dull their gloss.

"We're feeling very optimistic about it and we hope to meet with the Forest Service next week," said Robin Williamson, the president of the C Hill Flag Foundation.

He plans to take a first draft of a series of tests to the Forest Service, which owns the land where the flag is planned.

The new flag would replace a slightly smaller one which was destroyed in a December windstorm. It was installed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The foundation has delayed ordering the 390 4-by-5-foot aluminum panels required for the new flag because the criteria given by the Forest Service have changed.

"It's an ever-evolving process," Williamson said. "The panels are going to be the major cost in the project - over $20,000 - so before we order them we want to make sure our answer to the Forest Service's concerns is one that's going to be acceptable to them."

The C Hill Flag Foundation will have a float in the Nevada Day Parade on Nov. 1. Organizers are still planning to have the new flag in place by Veterans Day.

"That's the goal," Jennings said. "It's really hard to make a commitment because of all the setbacks we're facing but that's the time we'd like to have it done by."

In the meantime the flag team has encountered a new problem - rock-hard soil.

When an honor crew from the Stewart Conservation Camp tried to dig into the ground to place anchors, they found the ground almost impenetrable.

"These are guys that bench press 450 pounds and they couldn't do it," said Tod Jennings, chief operations officer for the project. "You get down about a foot and then you hit hardpan."

The foundation has opted to have a pneumatic rock drill and a 4,300-pound air compressor airlifted to the site.