Bicentennial Committee Meets

The Hempstead County Bicentennial Committee met Monday February 4th at the Tailgaters meeting room. Josh Williams chaired the meeting and noted he had had good comments all around from the event December 15th.

Dennis Ramsey gave a financial report. He noted there is $15,107.80 in the bank. He noted there is still $1,000 in sponsor money outstanding. He noted his most recent expenditure was $1,000 to Smith Monument for the stone for the Time Capsule. Keenan Williams noted he still has money to come from 67 silver coins at $50 each.

Richard Read gave a report on the time capsule. He noted he had donated the $1,600 he had set aside for the time capsule to the T & I Department at UAHT and that everything else was donated to cover the time capsule expenses.

Beckie Moore gave an update on merchandise. It was agreed the left over items will be auctioned in the Chamber’s annual meeting online auction. Also, there are 58 t shirts left and they are available at the Chamber Office at $10 each.

Richard Read gave an update on the time capsule. He noted it will be welded shut February 7th at 10am. Read also asked about a list of expenditures to take to the Quorum Court and Dennis Ramsey gave him the list. Read said there will be questions about how the money was spent. Ramsey asked who will be asking as they aren’t public funds. Read said there was no provision by the Quorum Court to fund the burial of the time capsule. He also said the capsule couldn’t be buried while the bank occupies the building. He said disturbing the property while the bank occupies the property would be a violation of the lease/purchase agreement. Read brought up the stone marker prepared for the time and that County Treasurer Judy Flowers refused to pay for it. Dennis Ramsey asked why she would have been sent a bill for it. Read said the stone was originally proposed by former County Judge Haskell Morse and it was to be blank and cost about $600. Josh Williams says he remembers Judge Morse proposing to spend about $1,100 in October and the committee approved it. When asked what the issue was, Read asked who’s permission do we need to put such a stone on the new courthouse property the and Josh Williams said the Quorum Court Courthouse building Committee. Committee members asked what Read was referring to. Read said the stone was engraved with the wrong dedication date and some other incorrect and unapproved engraving. Read asked Committee Member and JP Cherry Stewart to bring it to the Quorum Court’s attention. Read asked who decided what went on the monument. Torona Armstrong said we don’t need to point fingers but decide how to correct. Keenan Williams suggested it be flipped over and re-engraved. Read said the engraving can be filed off but he is upset that money has been wasted. Stewart said the previous judge did the best he could and the new Judge will continue the good work. Keenan Williams moved that it be brought to the Quorum Court and they can decide what can be put on it. The committee voted to do that. Read said he will be at Quorum Court to discuss the disposition of the time capsule at the February Quorum Court meeting at the request of Judge Jerry Crane. Read will present the options for the time capsule, either it being buried near the pavilion or else put it in a wall at the new courthouse.

Josh Williams said the Bicentennial passport coins have been distributed. He noted approximately forty completed passports were submitted.

Williams submitted a mock-up of the proposed community markers. He noted the total cost would be $19,226.70. The communities would include Fulton, McNab, Saratoga, Columbus, Bingen, McCaskill, Blevins, Spring Hill, Patmos, DeAnn, Oakhaven, Ozan, Guernsey, Washington,and Hope. Williams said the Hempstead County Historical Society will contribute $5,000 towards the signs which means the sign costs will be covered. The committee voted to purchase the signs.

Read asked if the committee wanted to support putting the time capsule in the ground compared to putting it in the wall. It was agreed that burying it had been approved and the meeting adjourned.