With cameras now installed, city anticipating ‘Fame’ monument relocation by July

Published 12:02 am Saturday, May 29, 2021

By Natalie Anderson

SALISBURY — Almost a year after the removal of “Fame” from its downtown perch, at least two cameras have been installed at a cemetery on North Lee Street that will soon house the Confederate monument.

In June, the city and the Robert F. Hoke chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, owners of the statue, reached an agreement to relocate the monument from the intersection of West Innes and North Church streets to a historic cemetery where Confederate soldiers are buried. The agreement came after Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes and the city council deemed “Fame” a public safety issue during a June 2020 city council meeting because of a man who fired gunshots in the air during a protest near the monument and gatherings that grew unruly.

Mayor Karen Alexander told the Post newly installed cameras at the monument site are monitored by the Salisbury Police Department similar to other downtown cameras.

Additionally, though installation of the custom, 8-foot-high, wrought iron fence was previously anticipated for April, Alexander said the contractor has committed to completing it within the next three weeks and will coordinate with the installation of brick pavers.

The city paid for the removal of the statue in July 2020 and is covering the costs for its storage and relocation, which has amounted to $21,917 so far. The statue remains in an undisclosed location. The UDC has received an easement to the piece of property where the monument will be placed.

The Historic Salisbury Foundation has been tasked with overseeing around $65,000 in privately raised funds for site amenities. Public Works Director Craig Powers told the Post that the company contracted to install the foundation and concrete pad was paid $39,827, while surveying costs amounted to $2,280.

Alexander said despite the rising costs of construction, which was accounted for during the lengthy planning process prior to construction of the foundation, the full cost of the relocation is still projected to be within the budget.

The city’s engineering department is coordinating the installation of a set of upgraded LED street lights and flood lights. Traffic Engineering Coordinator Vickie Eddleman said Duke Energy informed city staff that a new software management program upgrade has complicated the normal process for all ongoing projects, not just this one.

“This created a delay in providing contracts,” Eddleman said. “Duke Energy has been very responsive to the time sensitivity for the installation of the additional lighting being requested. Both entities are still working closely together on this project.”

Once details are ironed out, the statue will be relocated, but Alexander said the estimated date is unknown. She anticipates it will be by July.

Additionally, Alexander said a pole near the statue will ultimately be replaced with one that will better support the lights and cameras, but it will not prevent the relocation.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

About Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson covers the city of Salisbury, politics and more for the Salisbury Post. She joined the staff in January 2020 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where she was editor of The Reveille newspaper. Email her at natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com or call her at 704-797-4246.

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