Cleveland discusses creation of memory park

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Kathy Chaffin
CLEVELAND ó This town’s Beautification Committee wants to create a memory park on a vacant lot across from the police department.
Chairwoman Nancy Brown told town commissioners Monday night that she believes committee members can sell enough memorial brick pavers to almost pay for the $25,500 to $31,000 estimate for the park. Brown proposed selling the brick pavers with up to three lines and 18 characters engraved on them for $50 a brick.
The cost to the town would be $18 apiece when ordered 100 at a time, which means each order would raise $3,200 for the park.
“The committee is looking at doing this,” she said. “We don’t feel like we’ll have a problem getting 100 names at a time. … We sell 500 of these, and we’ve about paid for it.”
People could pay $6 extra to have an emblem included on the memorial pavers, such as the Lions Club logo, she said.
Brown ó the wife of Mayor Jim Brown, who was sick and unable to attend the meeting ó also asked town commissioners to consider paying half the initial cost of the park after the committee sells enough memorial brick pavers to cover the rest. After that, she said the money from additional memorial pavers sold would go to the town.
Brown distributed copies of an estimate from Blue Stone Landscape of Salisbury, which includes $9,000 to $12,000 for landscape plantings with bed preparation and mulching; $11,500 to $13,500 for brick-paver patio and walkway; $4,500 to $5,000 for an aggregate walkway with steel edging; $500 for lawn repairs and reseeding; and $2,000 for a water fountain.
She said someone might be willing to donate the fountain.
If the board approves the memory garden, Brown said the landscaper would complete the brick-paver walkway with regular pavers, which would be replaced as more memorial bricks are sold.
Once it’s built, she said, the memory park would be low-maintenance. “Really, all it will take is the mowing, fertilizer,” she said, adding that it would take about the same amount of work as it does to keep up the town park.
Brown said the committee would also like to see a few parking spaces along Depot Street for people who want to visit the memory park and walkways from adjoining streets.
Also at the meeting, Brown said the Beautification Committee is photographing welcome signs in area towns for the town to consider in selecting signs for Cleveland. Members are also looking at street lights for the downtown area such as the ones in Mocksville, she said, which are electrical replicas of antique gas lanterns.
Brown said town commissioners could start out with a few lights, then add to them gradually the same way they have been replacing the Christmas decorations.
She said the committee would also like for town commissioners to consider putting a sidewalk along Church Street now that the water line has been replaced.
“We would like to see that done as soon as possible,” she said. “We have a lot of walkers, and that’s a very narrow street, and a sidewalk would be much appreciated.”
Brown left before town commissioners began to discuss her requests. Mayor Pro Tem Danny Gabriel, conducting the meeting in Mayor Brown’s absence, said he had heard some concerns about the proposed memory park and suggested that the town hold a public hearing on the matter. Town commissioners agreed to hold the hearing at their next meeting on May 11 so town residents will have an opportunity to speak for or against the park.
Town commissioners appeared to be in favor of putting up welcome signs. Commissioner John I. Steele Jr. said he would like to see the town purchase signs that can also be used for special announcements and to put them up at all entrances to the town.
As for the lights, he said, “if we’re going to have shiny lights, we need to clean up the town, too.”
In another matter concerning the Beautification Committee, the board voted to continue paying $100 to the town’s Yard of the Month winners this year.
Commissioner Mary Frank Fleming-Adkins said some people had asked her how they could go about being considered for the award. She also asked whether the rules would eliminate repeat winners.
“I think it’s a great project myself,” she said.
Fleming-Adkins suggested that information on the Yard of the Month selection process be included in the town’s next newsletter to residents.
Steele said the committee should also be keeping minutes of its meetings, including the rules and discussion on the yards selected.
Contact Kathy Chaffin at 704-797-4249.