Options listed for Forrest monument compromise

Published 6:58 pm Saturday, June 8, 2013

Attorney Wes Kelly, who represents KTK Mining of Virginia in a lawsuit against the city of Selma, responded to Selma City Council President Corey Bowie’s list of options for the placement of the Nathan B. Forrest monument to avoid litigation and reach a settlement.

Kelly wrote to the council, saying he was pleased to respond to the previous letter of options listed and wanted to propose going forward with a combination of two options.

“[Kelly] is proposing to combine options one and two,” city attorney Jimmy Nunn told the council Thursday at the regular work session. “You will see though, he did not just list options one and two, but also included some other things like monetary damages that they are requesting. “

Option one in Bowie’s original letter was for the monument to remain in Confederate Circle in the cemetery, but also to allow other monuments to be placed there by any other organization. Another option outlined by Bowie they have agreed to is for the work permit suspension to be lifted and for work to continue in making the Confederate monument handicap accessible and continuing work on the Forrest monument.

Kelly has listed several other things including for the work permit to be re-granted and KTK will be allowed to continue work to make the Confederate Monument handicap accessible.

Kelly also stipulates that the city will assure that KTK will be able to complete the project by maintaining peace at the construction site, and keeping order.

In other requests listed, KTK will be allowed to place plaques around the monument containing accurate historical information written by a mutually agreed to third party historian; the civil lawsuit against the city of Selma and Selma Chief of Police William T. Riley will be dismissed and no further charges will be brought against city or chief concerning this matter.

Ending the argument of land ownership for Confederate Circle, Kelly is asking for the city to execute a deed to the one-acre tract of land of Confederate Circle to the Chapter 53 United Daughters of the Confederacy which will be in return for KTK waiving all claims of damages against the city KTK Mining of Virginia was in the process of doing construction work on the Nathan B. Forrest monument in Old Live Oak Cemetery to replace the bust and add additional security features when protestors fought to get the construction halted.

The Selma City Council voted in September to suspend the work permit until the case of ownership of Confederate Circle — the question of if the city or the United Daughters of the Confederacy owned the land — was determined in federal court. In early April Bowie listed four options in attempts to reach a settlement.

Kelly stated previously his client KTK Mining of Virginia invested some $90,000 in the project before the work was suspended.