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Town officials, Greater Meredith Program develop plans for Archie statue


May 16, 2018
MEREDITH — The Greater Meredith Program's Archie statue project is close to being finished, and plans are in place for the town to accept the statue at a future meeting.

The GMP commissioned sculptor Valery Mahuchy to make a life sized statue of Archie in honor of Meredith resident Bob Montana and the town's 250th anniversary.

During the May 7 selectmen's meeting, Bill Gartner, co-chair of the Greater Meredith Program's Design Committee, and Jim McFarlin, Chair of the Design Committee's Archie Statue subcommittee, gave the board an update on the progress of the Archie statue. Gartner said they wanted to get into a position of presenting the statue and the bench it will sit on to the town. A formal unveiling presentation is scheduled for Aug. 9 at noon at Community Park.

McFarlin said they approached Warren about the potential of accepting the statue earlier than originally planned to save the GMP some money in interim gap insurance before the statue was dedicated and accepted by the town. He said they ended up going "round and round" with appraisals and different issues.

"It's important that the GMP recognizes the concerns that were held about the statue not being complete," McFarlin said. "I assure you, we're not going to deliver it to the town in pieces like Humpty Dumpty."

McFarlin said they decided to work with the GMP's insurance carrier, Melcher and Prescott, and the GMP will pick up the interim gap insurance of $133 prorated for three months. He said after the dedication on Aug 9 they will come back to the town to formally present it as a gift.

Warren said the selectmen will be required to hold a public hearing to accept a gift over $10,000 and said the more notice the town can receive the better.

Warren said it is possible for the town to accept the statue ahead of time if it is complete. A motion can be made to accept the statue as of Aug. 9 and the town can accept the statue on successful delivery.

Gartner said they will be working with Public Works on the installation of the statue they will likely come back to the board in July for approval. Warren said as the town can accept the statue as long as it's complete.

"Once we accept it, we'd insure it," Warren said.

Gartner said they were working with Public Works on figuring out who would be responsible for what in installing the statue. He said they could be coming to the board by mid July, though were not sure of exactly when. Warren recommended aiming for the July 16 meeting. He said even if it is not installed but it is complete they can still accept it.

Selectman Jeanie Forrester thanked them for this and said she is excited this is happening. Forrester said when he was the Executive Director of the GMP there was discussion back then on doing something in connection with Archie.

"This is so exciting, and I know you all have worked very hard," Forrester said.

She said communication is important so everyone is on the same page.

"I hope you don't misconstrue it in anyway there is not excitement or appreciation for all that you've done," Forrester said. "This is such a fabulous piece of artwork for the town of Meredith and its history, so thank you all for that."

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