Ashe County

JEFFERSON — Bronze plaques displaying each of the U.S. Armed Forces insignia will be funded by the county, aiding local veteran efforts to beautify the honor roll obelisk on the lawn outside the Museum of Ashe County History.

The Ashe County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to pay for the $1,500 purchase of five U.S. Armed Forces insignia using the county’s contingency funds during the board’s regular meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5.

Eight-inch bronze plaques will bear the seals of the United States Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard on the World War I honor roll obelisk in the old courthouse lawn, which was initially erected by the Jefferson VFW in the 1930s, Ashe Post & Times previously reported.

Local veterans Bob Phipps and Bernie Lee requested the funds from the commissioners, who were unanimously supportive of the idea.

“We owe a tremendous debt to all veterans and current service members,” said Chairman Todd McNeill. “I’ve been here a year and a half, and you guys never ask for anything to speak of — that’s a reasonable request that would beautify a facility that we already maintain.”

Paver bricks honoring veterans, living and deceased, are for sale through the Museum of Ashe County History, with plans to line the sidewalk leading to the WWI honor roll obelisk where the bronze insignia will be displayed, according to Phipps and previously reported by AP&T. To purchase a paver brick, call the museum at (336) 846-1904.

Other business

Also during the Ashe County Board of Commissioners regular meeting Aug. 5, the board unanimously approved $5,000 from the county economic development budget be appropriated to funding a StartUp Ashe website, with the goal of helping attract entrepreneurs to the county, according to WCC Vice President Chris Robinson.

The commissioners unanimously approved the 2020 Ashe County holiday schedule, as shown in a sidebar attached to this story.

“Looks remarkably similar to every other year,” McNeill said.

Rather than meeting on MLK Day and Labor Day, the board will meet the Tuesday after those holidays, according to Acting Ashe County Manager Adam Stumb.

Wilkes Community College is holding a groundbreaking ceremony for its Ashe Campus expansion at 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, Stumb said.

The fire training facility at Beaver Creek Industrial Park is 99 percent complete with 30 days left on the contract for completion, with an open house coming in September, according to Stumb.

Ashe County Schools Assistant Finance Director Kevin Anderson has been named the new director of Ashe County Parks & Recreation, starting Monday, Aug. 19, Stumb said.

The board entered closed executive session to discuss property acquisition and receive a legal update at 7:55 p.m., returning at 8:35 p.m. to make no further action than adjourn the meeting.

The next meeting of the Ashe County Board of Commissioners will be in the Ashe County Courthouse at 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 19.

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