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News Aldermen vote to dissolve Indian Mound committee

Apology will not be made to EBCI

The Franklin Town of Aldermen decided that no apology needed to be sent to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians for the maintenance decision on the Nikwasi Indian Mound.

During Monday night’s Aldermen meeting, board member Bob Scott read a letter he had drafted apologizing to the Chief Michell Hicks of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians for what he viewed as an impromptu decision to kill the grass on the mound and replant eco-grass to cut down on maintenance costs. After reading the letter to the board, Scott made a motion to send the Cherokee the formal letter, but did not receive a second vote from any of the board members, so the motion died.

Greenwood informed board members last month that the grass on the mound had been intentionally sprayed with weed killer in order to plant a slower growing eco-grass on the mound. Greenwood defended his decision to order the grass to be killed because he said the hydroseed needed to be planted as soon as possible in order to take advantage of the optimum planting time to assure the overall best result for the new ground cover.

Board member Sissy Pattillo said that she felt the maintenance decision wasn’t disrespectful to the Tribe and since the mound was under town ownership no apology was necessary. Pattillo was offended by the accusation of disrespecting the mound. “I have a problem with the Chief saying we did anything disrespectful, because that was never our intent,” said Pattillo. “I don't think we have anything to apologize for.”

Aldermen Billy Mashburn made a motion to authorize John Henning Jr., town attorney, to draft an ordinance that would prohibit all foot traffic from being on top of the mound. Mashburn also motioned to dissolve the mound committee, which is comprised of volunteers from the community. According to Mashburn, the committee has not met in a number of months and that ultimately any decisions made in regards to the mound should come through the board first. Scott noted that the Mound Committee only acted as an advisory committee and has never acted on anything without board approval.

On his last motion, Mashburn stated the town should go ahead and plant eco-grass on the Nikwasi Mound. All of Mashburn’s motions passed 4-1 with Scott voting in opposition.

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