“He lived in the back country,” Ward said.
Roger Lewis, chairman of the Martinsburg City Council property committee, said Tuesday the lack of a portrait is not as concerning as finding the funding for the statute.
Lewis said he would be “very supportive” of a community fundraising effort to raise the estimated $50,000 to $60,000 for the statue.
“It would make a nice community project,” said Lewis, who represents Ward 4.
Lewis said the city had planned to pay for the statute with general revenue as part of the town square project, but unexpected cost overruns sapped the city’s budget for the redesign, which cost about $1.8 million. The city’s share of the project’s cost was about $360,000.
Since the project’s substantial completion, the city’s tax revenues have continued to lag, which prompted city leaders to hold off on spending money for the statue, according to Lewis.
“We have to be very prudent with our budget,” Lewis said.
On Monday, Lewis and other members of the city property committee meeting Monday declined to recommend City Council consider alternatives to the Adam Stephen statute. The monument is envisioned to be placed on a pedestal that was built in the square.
Architect Matthew Grove told committee members that pedestal was designed for a “static” bronze figure of the town founder, which he estimated would weigh about 2,000 pounds.
Modern art, a clock and relocation of the “doughboy” monument near the old federal building on King Street have been suggested as alternatives to the Adam Stephen statue, but the committee did not reach a consensus on any of the options.
Lewis told fellow committee members the doughboy monument isn’t owned by the city and was deeded to The Arts Centre by the federal government.
Grove told committee members that there is no electric service in the pedestal to power a clock.