DALEVILLE – It appears the county’s Monument and Memorials Committee will recommend to the Board of Supervisors that the controversial Confederate statue stay on courthouse grounds, but move a few yards from its current location in front of the Botetourt County Courthouse.
The decision was made during its recent meeting earlier in December. The committee viewed a list of pros and cons on three sites where the controversial obelisk could be moved, if the Board of Supervisors approves removal of the monument at its Jan. 26 meeting.
The list was drawn up by Lynchburg-based Architectural Partners, the firm hired to redesign and renovate the courthouse.
The firm’s initial assessment shows the courthouse grounds and south of the historic jail sites have more pros than cons; whereas, Madine Way has more cons.
While the exact location of the possible placement of the monument is not currently known, the architecture firm advises it’s somewhere in the middle of the block bounded by Main Street, Roanoke Street, Back Street and Route 220.
The pluses of this location include:
• No site clearing required
• No work in public right-of-way required
• Public parking already available provided by county offices
• Unbounded location for whatever degree of landscaping and hardscaping desired
Relocation can be entirely on site, no transportation via public roadways required
The negatives are that it must be located in conjunction with long-range site plans for the block, which still needs to be developed and then finalized.
The site south of the historical jail is between the building and Main Street mirrors the pros and cons as the courthouse grounds
As for Madine Way, the story is flipped. That location has more than a half dozen issues and only two positives.
The cons include:
Site clearing required
Work in public right-of-way required
Acquisition of vacated right-of way required if more than three parking spaces needed
Parking area limited; a turn-around area would be needed for the dead-end street
Traffic on the street could be an issue
Defined site boundaries might limit design and landscaping
Relocation of the monument would require use of public roads
Most costly option
The two positives are:
Design could begin immediately
No conflicts with existing building or utilities
There wasn’t an initial assessment given for the Greenfield site.
During the meeting Chairman and Supervisor Steven Clinton added another con to the courthouse site – the courthouse renovation project will not be completed for another two to three years.
That observation didn’t deter members from commenting either the courthouse or historic jail site appears to be the most appropriate. They said Madine Way had too many cons to be considered feasible. In the end, Mitch Bowman, representing Historic Fincastle, recommended the monument be relocated to the courthouse site; Beth Leffel, of the Botetourt County Historical Society and Museum, seconded the motion. The motion passed 7-1, with Harriet Francis of the Daughters of the Confederacy voting against.
Those voting for the relocation were: Pam Binns, representing Fincastle, Mitch and Bobbie Bowman, Historic Fincastle, Bernard Haynes, Countywide League, Ed McCoy, Botetourt County Clerk of Courts, Leffel, Bill Price, VFW Post, Buchanan and Daleville, Lewis Sifford, Botetourt Artillery.
Not present for the vote included: Chester Adams, Botetourt School Board, Greg Rieley, Botetourt Genealogy Club, Bill Tanger, Oldfields/Reservoir Road Community, Ayden Kinion, homeschooler, Seth Spickard, James River High School, and Parker Hudson, Lord Botetourt High School.
After the vote, there was a general consensus to direct Architectural Partners to design a placement of the monument near the county’s historical museum. There should also be information present to provide historical context of the monument.