Cost to city Taxpayers a Projected $100,000
By Walker County News Today staff
Houston sculptor and Huntsville native David Adickes, the creator of Huntsville’s 67-foot Sam Houston Statue on Interstate 45 South, appeared before Huntsville City Council on Tuesday to offer a complete set of 43 massive busts of former U.S. Presidents valued at $4.3 million.
In exchange, the city would be pay an estimated $100,000 to transport the busts from Houston, provide each with a pedestal base and an explanatory sign, and find a suitable location for their display.
This set of busts is one of three that Adickes has created. A second set is located in South Dakota near Mount Rushmore and the third is located in Virginia near Williamsburg.
The statues were appraised in Virginia at $100,000 each, Adickes said.
He suggested to council that the city create a wooded 5-acre park to display the busts. He noted that a location along Interstate 45 would attract the most visitors, though the city also could consider other sites.
It was not immediately clear the extent, if any, that Hotel Occupancy Tax Funds could be used for the project. But this is at least the second time the city has considered the gift from Adickes.
Ward 3 council member Ronnie Allen said the city needs a plan for this project before the gift is accepted. Council agreed and assigned City Manager Matt Benoit the task of developing the plan.
Body Cameras for the Police Department
Council voted on Tuesday to apply for three different grants amounting to about $260,000 to help pay for 48 additional — the city now has five — body cameras for Huntsville Police officers. Police Chief Kevin Lunsford said that state law now requires these cameras, which have been useful in the prosecution of cases and in clarifying what happened when someone claimed that an officer had acted inappropriately.
Construction of Retaining Walls for the Solid Waste Transfer Station.
Council also approved the use of $583,100 for the contract go-ahead for the construction and back-fill of the retaining walls for the new Solid Waste Transfer Station. This is part of an overall project estimated to cost around $3.5 million. Council waived the two-reading rule normally required for actions of this type.