M’boro council endorses marketing of historic prints

Published 10:46 am Thursday, August 27, 2009

MURFREESBORO – Members of the Murfreesboro Town Council Tuesday put their stamp of approval on plans by the Greater Murfreesboro Marketing Initiative to go forward with marketing prints of four historic collages.

Funding the project will be grant money secured by the Initiative from the Z Smith Reynolds Foundation, Murfreesboro resident Hugh Vincent told the council on behalf of the Initiative.

The project, which has the potential of generating as much as $25,940 for the Initiative, will require an up-front investment of $860 for four printing plates and a maximum of $1,000 for two sets of prints with framing and matting.

The framed and mounted prints will enable potential purchasers “to see what they are purchasing,” the council was told.

Orders will be accepted until Nov. 1 and all orders must be paid prior to the order date, Vincent said. It is anticipated that the prints will be available for shipping or pick-up by Dec. 15.

Murfreesboro Mayor Lynn Johnson said the prints will be limited to 300 of each, 50 “artist prints” and 250 black and white prints of each of the four.

The stationing of a Hertford County EMS unit and emergency medical personnel in Murfreesboro was a council topic again Tuesday.

In the council’s meeting two weeks ago, it was pointed out that, though the town had completed facilities, neither the ambulance nor the EMTs were in Murfreesboro on a full-time basis.

That resulted in conversations between Town Administrator Cathy Davison and Hertford County Manager Loria Williams, and in Davison’s moving to draft a formal memorandum of understanding.

In this week’s meeting, Council Member Billy Theodorakis said, “If we don’t get a quick response, we need to go to the county commissioners meeting. Otherwise, we’re going to rock along here and nothing’s going to happen… We’ve done everything we’ve said we were going to do…”

Murfreesboro Police Chief Darrell Rowe, referring to a stabbing incident that occurred just outside Murfreesboro shortly before the council meeting convened, evidenced the need for quicker response by emergency medical services personnel.

After some discussion, involving both audience members and those on the council, the council agreed to accept an offer by the State Department of Transportation to fund the town’s Gateways Project to the tune of $120,000 through stimulus funding.

Acceptance means that, after Aug. 30, 2012, the town will be responsible for maintenance the “gateway” areas.

Presenting a report for the town’s Beautification Commission, Walter Thomas, commission vice chair, urged that low maintenance plantings be chosen for the gateways. He said the commission would be responsible for organizing clean-up days for the gateway areas a minimum of four times a year.

Theodorakis said, “I think it’s a great idea, but we’ve been through this with the state before. They want to shed as much responsibility as possible, and in 2012, the town’s going to be responsible forever.”

A member of the audience, Frances Van Brackle, responded, “Every town that is forward thinking beautifies…”

Council Member Odom said, “It’s not that we don’t want the beautification; it’s just that we need to be sure we have the resources.”

Theodorakis agreed, “I don’t mean we should reject it out of hand, but we must be aware of our responsibilities going forward… The point is the funding of it in the future.”

After further discussion, Council member Molly Eubank said, “What I hear them saying is that we’re going to get it anyway, but if we accept it, we’ll get something for it.”

And with that she moved to accept the DOT offer. The other council members agreed.

Also on the recommendation of the Beautification Commission, the town council endorsed the creation of murals “on the old appliance store building behind Cosmo Kenton’s business,” and of a silhouette of Murfreesboro printer Roy Johnson “on the Habitat Building.”

Both will be funded through private donations.

Of Johnson, Vincent said, “Roy Johnson did it all. He did all the research, all the writing, all the typesetting, all the selling… He did it all.”

The mural on the old appliance store “will be based on children’s nursery rhymes and children reading,” the mayor said. “The murals will feature Jack and the Beanstalk and Black Beauty on one side; on side two, girl fairy tales will be featured; on side three, boy’s classics with Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn will be featured. And to connect all three panels, the beanstalk will be weaved from Jack and the Beanstalk through the other two panels.”

Considered Tuesday but sent back to the town’s Planning Board for further consideration was a request by Andrew Brown, 312 U.S. Hwy 258 N to establish a neighborhood store in a residential district.

“If we allow this, are we opening it up to all R-10 (residential) districts,” wondered Eubank of the request.

“I don’t have a problem with this one, either,” said Council member Mary Odom, “but what would be the ramifications 10 years from now?”

“How do we tell the next person he can’t do the same thing?” Theodorakis asked.

Mayor Johnson invited Brown, who was in the audience, to speak, but he declined.

As the council meeting convened Tuesday, Murfreesboro resident Mary Reid took the floor to complain that police too often are in the area of her residence on River Street and that they follow her and members of her family.

Chief Rowe, responding, said that his officers patrol the area frequently, but also said they have been asked by other area residents to increase patrols in the area. While he was talking, his dispatcher handed him a message that, according to department records, officers have been called to Reid’s residence 101 times since July 14, 2003.

On a suggestion by Theodorakis, it was agreed that the police chief and Councilman Lloyd Hill will meet with Reid to discuss the issue. Davison told Reid she would contact her to schedule the meeting.