Photo taken during the “kidnapping” of Morris in June. (photo submitted)

Archived Story

Morris should return next month

Published 7:04pm Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tryon Town Council heard this week that Morris, the town’s iconic statue, should be repaired and returned by Halloween.
Tryon Town Manager Caitlin Martin told council members Tuesday, Sept. 18 that she performed an internal audit of the campaign fundraising and determined everything was done correctly. She said there is a $1,500 surplus with all expenses paid.
Morris campaign chair Patti D’Arbanville, who attended the meeting, said Morris’ condition was dismal. There was a lot of water damage she said. The last time Morris was repaired was in 1983.
“The fact that it was standing was remarkable,” D’Arbanville told commissioners.
She said the men repairing the statue are doing the work in their free time and she is not sure of an exact date when repairs will be complete, but it should be sometime next month.
Commissioner George Baker said it doesn’t matter when Morris returns as long as the job is done correctly.
D’Arbanville said that is the main concern of the project committee. She said she has looked at Morris and no water should be able to get into the structure this time.
The repairs cost $12,000, with the $1,500 surplus to be put into the town’s general fund budget earmarked specifically for maintenance to Morris.
Saluda Forge owner Bill Crowell, who had bid on the repair project, questioned whether the town stuck with the original budget of $6,000.
Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples said the budget he saw was closer to $12,000.
Crowell said the bid was for $6,000 and his bid wasn’t even in the ballpark because his bid included a full rebuild. He also said at $12,000, the job should be full-time and someone should take vacation and get the job done.
D’Arbanville said the original bid was for $8,000 with a cap of $12,000.
Commissioners thanked D’Arbanville and other committee members for their work.
“We appreciate the hard work of the committee and the effort,” said commissioner Roy Miller.
Baker added that he appreciates that someone (D’Arbanville) stood up to say they would help and actually did it.
The campaign included a mock kidnapping of the statue and fundraising to pay for the repairs.

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