Vance Monument restoration service, e-cigarette regulation on City Council agenda

The roof of Asheville City Hall.

Asheville’s Transit Committee has asked that the city’s ordinance banning smoking on city transit buses be amended to include e-cigarettes. The item appears under the consent agenda of the March 10 City Council meeting.

The request comes at the heels of a number of complaints of secondhand exposure to e-cigarette vapors from riders of city buses, according to the city. Since e-cigarettes are not lighted tobacco products, they cannot be regulated the same as traditional cigarettes under Chapter 130A of the North Carolina General Statutes.

If approved under the consent agenda, the Vance Monument will be getting a restoration starting in April. The project includes cleaning the granite, replacing all deteriorated chalk, re-pointing mortar, repairing and cleaning all bronze plaques, and cleaning and painting the iron fence surrounding the monument.

The 26th North Carolina, a nonprofit organization designed to commemorate the lives of North Carolina soldiers and civilians during the period of the American Civil War, has raised $115,000 to support the project. The city will contribute $11,000 to prepare the site for work, repair the wrought iron fence, and remove, preserve and replace the existing time capsule located in the base of the monument.

The work is anticipated to take three to four weeks to complete. According to city staff, a construction fence will surround the base of the monument and scaffolding will extend to the full height of the monument. A re-dedication ceremony is anticipated to be held by the 26th North Carolina following the completion of work on May 16.

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About Pat Barcas
Pat is a photojournalist and writer who moved to Asheville in 2014. He previously worked for a labor and social rights advocacy newspaper in Chicago. Email him at pbarcas@gmail.com. Follow me @pbarcas

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