JEFFERSON-Not everyone has the opportunity to see, firsthand, the documents that helped forge our fledgling nation.
One national organization is trying to change that and has set its sights on western North Carolina and Ashe County as its latest project community.
Perry Snider, of Foundation Forward, came to seek permission from the Ashe County Commissioners Monday morning to construct a monument, free of charge, in Jefferson that will contain replicas of the Bill of Rights, Constitution and Declaration of Independence.
These monuments are similar to the display of the original founding documents in the Rotunda of the National Archives in Washington, D.C. They are placed in prominent outdoor locations central to the community where there is a high visibility, high foot traffic and easy access for school children, said the foundation.
Each of these replica documents are the size of the original founding documents on etched bronze and is protected by laminated glass, according to the foundation.
There are no costs associated with the installation of these monuments alone, but the county would be responsible to foot the bill for any groundwork and leveling needed to prepare the site.
Money for the monuments itself will be raised through donations and fundraisers, but is ultimately a gift from the foundation.
“All the money will be put in a bank account, as build happens, the money will be withdrawn,” said Snider. “We want to set up an account to be transparent.”
Similar monuments are currently in place in Asheville and Morganton and are made to stand the test of time.
“These monuments are made to last 300 to 500 years,” said Snider.
Commissioners were unanimous in their decision to allow the foundation to construct the monuments in Ashe County. Officials have not made a decision on where to place the structure.
In other business, county commissioners continued a conversation on the proposed fire training center, albeit briefly.
Commissioners voted to approve staff to draft and execute a 45-year property lease to the fire and rescue association at $1 per year for a center in the Industrial Park of West Jefferson.
Reach Jesse Campbell at 336-846-7164.