Commissioners reconsider marker idea


Staff Writer

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Nash County officials are going back to the drawing board on plans for a memorial to honor the late Commissioner Billy Morgan.

When estimates came in at $16,000 for a teardrop-shaped granite monument, Commissioners Mary Wells and Lisa Barnes balked during a Monday workshop.

Barnes said the price was too steep. Wells questioned whether Morgan, well known for being fiscally conservative, would approve.

“Billy would ask is this good for the people of Nash County,” Wells said, repeating Morgan's often-used catchphrase.

Commissioner Wayne Outlaw said he’d like to see Morgan’s image on the monument.

The monument plans were presented by Michelle Viverette-Strickland, who owns Everlasting Memory Monument Company in Rocky Mount.

“We can do anything if you give me an idea of what you want,” Viverette-Strickland told commissioners.

John Conway, president of Greenville Marble and Granite, offered to submit a proposal for a less expensive alternative.

The teardrop monument would have to be shipped from China. Viverette-Strickland also offered an obelisk made in Georgia for about $1,000 less. Both fixtures would stand about 4 feet tall.

Board Chairman Robbie Davis said he feels commissioners are getting closer to a decision.

“I don't think it's far off,” Davis said.

The monument would serve to honor not only Morgan but local civil servants. The board decided to build a commemorative marker in front of the Nash County Administration Building after a suggestion in March by former Commissioner Danny Tyson. He wanted to honor Morgan, who died earlier this year. Plans call for a small vertical monument with tiles etched with the names of county officials with a long history of public service.

In other business, commissioners received a presentation from Michael Williams, executive director of Turning Point Workforce Development. Williams said his agency helps folks find a job while working with employers to make sure they have the right applicants for their positions.

Prior to his presentation, Davis congratulated Williams on his recent appointment by Gov. Roy Cooper. Williams was tapped to serve on the newly created Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound, Basic Education. Williams will serve on the commission as the workforce representative. Williams has more than 25 years of experience in workforce and economic development.