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Group sues Asheville on breach of contract over monument razing
Wednesday, 31 March 2021 22:25

From Staff Reports

 

A lawsuit seeking to stop the demolition of the Vance Monument — widely considered the centerpiece of downtown Asheville — was filed on March 23 by the Society for the Historical Preservation of the 26th North Carolina Troops Inc.

The suit was filed on the same day in which Asheville City Council, voted 6-1 to remove the monument.

“The removal is part of a movement across the South to take down Confederate monuments critics say glorify white supremacy and racism,” the Asheville Citizen Times noted in its story breaking the news online on March 25. “The suit says Asheville is in breach of contract after a 2015 signed agreement between Asheville and the 26th N.C. to restore the monument for which the group raised $138,447.”

In his complaint, attorney H. Edward Phillips wrote:

“The 26th N.C. never intended that the money its organization raised, that its members donated out-of-pocket as individuals, and the countless man hours expended for the better part of three years, would be thrown asunder by elected officials representing the defendants in violation of intent of the donation agreement and likely in violation of state law.

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Vance Monument removal OK’d 6-1 by Asheville council
Wednesday, 31 March 2021 22:23

From Staff Reports 

Asheville City Countil voted 6-1on March 23 to approve its task force’s recommendation to remove the Vance Monument — the final step that will lead to the demolotion of a landmark located in Pack Square in the heart of downtown Asheville since it was erected in 1897.

The dissenting vote was cast by Sandra Kilgore, who has said in the past that she has favored repurposing the monument.

“The cost to remove the obelisk will be about $115,000,” Asheville television station WLOS (News 13) reported. “Another $25,000 will go to create a temporary site, which could feature landscaping and a flower bed installation.”

In addressing council, capital projects director Jade Dundas said that, pending council authorization, the monument removal and demolition, as well as temporary site restoration, is expected to take 45 days.

Following the monument removal, a temporary site restoration would occur including a $25,535 landscaping contract to MS Lean Landscaping, an Asheville African American-owned business.

Later, another $70,000 would be used for the “vision” portion of the project, under which “a team of planners and community organizers will work with the public to create a comprehensive community vision document for the site,” a city press release noted.

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