Veterans Memorial Needs Town’s Aid

By Laura Crosio

Plans for the Town of Archer Lodge’s Veteran’s Memorial are in full swing but one council member hopes the town can kick in additional funds to make the project a reality.

At the town’s May 11 council meeting, members listened to a proposed fiscal year 2015-2016 budget but one member was disappointed to learn the highly anticipated Veteran’s Memorial site wasn’t included.

Town Councilman  discusses the Archer Lodge Veterans Memorial.
Town Councilman Clyde Castleberry discusses the Archer Lodge Veterans Memorial.

Councilman Mark Wilson, one of the project’s committee members, questioned the town council on why a line item appeared on the proposal but did not include a dollar figure. While it’s always been the intention to raise funds strictly from private and corporate donors to pay for the $150,000 memorial, Wilson fears the town may need to step in and provide assistance.

“There is no way possible we will build a veterans memorial without the town’s contribution if we rely solely on donations and purchase of bricks,” he said.

Wilson noted earlier in the evening’s meeting that fundraising efforts were in full swing, including a current sale of $50 off brick prices until July 4. For now, a 8×8 brick is selling for $350 and a 12×12 for $500. Emblems may be added for an additional $30. Memorial benches are also available for $3,000.

The town approved the 5,000 square-foot site in January and the project broke ground in April. A sign currently sits on the site to identify the project.

Mayor Mike Gordon also sits on the veteran’s committee and urged council members to take a wait and see approach to the success of fundraising efforts before committing dollars.  He noted corporate sponsors have yet to be solicited.

“I think the town is committed,” he said. “The only thing that concerns me is that this fundraising is just really starting. Should we not give it six months or a year to see what happens?”

“I agree our fundraising is new,” said Wilson. “Once again I will say, please do not rely on that source of revenue to build this memorial. Sadly, it will not happen. This project has come to be of importance to a lot of people in this town.”

Councilman Clyde Castleberry agreed with Mayor Gordon and wanted to see concrete fundraising efforts and figures before making a decision.