Thursday, August 28, 2008
City supports Traveling Wall
By SUE WATSON
The Holly Springs mayor and board of aldermen considered several requests for funding at last week’s meeting, including a donation to support the Vietnam Traveling Wall. It’s a project initiated by the Collins-Hurdle VFW Post and supported by the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce.
Amy Heaton, chamber of commerce executive director, asked for $2,839 to get ready for the November event and for the involvement of the entire community in supporting and turning out for the event, scheduled for Thanksgiving week.
Heaton said the chamber is behind the event because it promotes tourism in the 300-mile radius around the city, while the Tourism Bureau seeks to attract people to the city from outside that radius.
She said the chamber is trying to raise 10 percent of the cost of the project and to promote the city and businesses.
Alderman-at-Large Tim Liddy asked what kind of attendance can be expected.
Heaton said it is not generally known but the wall is an 80 percent replica of the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C. This event will include much more than just the opportunity to view the wall and the thousands of names of servicemen and women who lost their lives in the war.
Two other travelling walls are 50 percent replicas, she said.
“This is the first time to get this 80 percent replica in the South,” Heaton said. “We will publicize all over but cannot predict what the draw will be.”
The viewing of the wall is open and free to the public and there will be many other ceremonies besides the display of the wall.
The chamber intends to launch a shop-at-home campaign for Thanksgiving week to encourage Marshall Countians to visit the wall and bring their Thanksgiving guests and relatives to town, she said.
“We are continuously involved in promoting our businesses and the city as an outstanding community in which to live, work and play,” she said.
Mayor Andre’ DeBerry suggested the donation come out of the current year’s budget.
Some of the money will be used to publish a community guide, Heaton said. With money assured, the chamber will know how many copies it can purchase, she said.
And there is time left for businesses to sponsor ads in the guide or sponsor the wall, she said.
“You are already an integral part of the guide, with or without the money,” said Heaton, after assuring the mayor and board there is space reserved for the city officials to be recognized.
Discussion ended, Liddy motioned and alderman Garrie Colhoun seconded the city fund the project as requested and the motion passed by a unanimous vote.
Two other groups approached the board for funds, Alfred Moore with the Holly Springs Housing Authority and Leona Harris with the Ida B. Wells Museum.
Moore asked for $4,000 to form a non-profit corporation that would be run by the Holly Springs Housing board of directors. The non-profit would use the money as seed money to construct houses and apartments. The housing authority is a for-profit venture.
Board attorney Ki Jones was asked to research the proposal to see if the city can legally donate the money.
Next up was Harris, who sought a $14,000 a year donation to the museum to be disbursed in equal monthly payments.
Liddy asked about the record of attendance at the museum's sponsored events and the number of visits to the museum.
Harris said about 5,000 to 6,000 annually since the museum added a festival in February.
“We are called upon to do more, so we need more help,” she said. “We have been asked this year to participate in the Pilgrimage, so we need more funding so we can operate first-class.”
DeBerry said the museum’s request would be considered during budget meetings with aldermen.
After introducing two first-time homebuyers, Lee Richmond, community development director, thanked Mayor DeBerry for beginning work to improve the look of downtown, beginning at North Center Street.
“I appreciate you cleaning up that area,” she said.
DeBerry said trash and debris were cleared from Falconer, and from College Avenue to Park as well.
“The loitering is over,” he added, saying he has instructed the police chief to patrol the area to keep the area free of street sitters.
“The businesses have to help patrol and send people home and call the police. We have that blues marker and people who come here and who come out of the courthouse look down North Center Street and it’s an embarrassment.”
Other areas in the city are also being put on notice to clean up and stop loitering, he said, including the area at Martin Luther King Drive and Highway 7 North.
“This city is too beautiful to be junked up and messed up,” DeBerry said. “We’ve got to stop people from messing it up.”
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