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Commissioner seeks input from public on veterans memorial park renaming
Brunswick News - 11/21/2020
Nov. 21--Glynn County Commissioner Bob Coleman didn't expect the pushback he'd get from his fellow commissioners when he proposed to name the Glynn County Veterans Memorial Park after late businessman and philanthropist Robert Torras Sr.
Few would argue Torras, who passed away in March at the age of 86, left a mark on the Golden Isles. The St. Simons Island resident was the head of a local family-owned business that included the Brunswick Landing Marina and Kut-Kwick Corp. in Brunswick and Torco Inc. in Kennesaw. He developed West Point Plantation on St. Simons Island and owned commercial real estate in Glynn County and the Atlanta metro.
He was also a U.S. Air Force veteran, serving as a bomber pilot until discharged with a service-related disability.
Coleman said the idea to build a veterans memorial park in Brunswick originated with Torras.
"It was Bob Torras' doing, the whole thing," Coleman said. "Bob Coleman didn't just pull a name out of the sky and start promoting it."
Torras brought the idea to commissioners in 2014, Coleman said, after which the county included it as a project in Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax 2016.
Michael Torras, Robert Torras' grandson, proposed renaming the park earlier this year as a surprise. In the younger Torras' eyes, the park would not exist without his grandfather's efforts. The park was once slated to be the site of an expansion to the old Glynn County Detention Center.
"He bought two lots on that block where the park is now to stop the jail from being expanded," Michael Torras said. "The county was going and buying up the houses there, so he heard about it and went and bought two of them and wouldn't sell them to the county."
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