The Mathews County Board of Supervisors made a number of changes to a draft quitclaim deed that the Gazette-Journal reported on in the Dec. 1 issue of the paper.
The changes were made on Thursday, the day after the paper went to press, but within the timeframe the board has established for completing an agenda prior to a meeting. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Harry M. Ward Auditorium at Mathews High School.
The article has been amended and is included below. Changes to the document are noted with quotation marks.
If approved by the Mathews County Board of Supervisors, the deed would turn over the Confederate monument and the land on the Court Green that surrounds it to Mathews War Memorial Preservation Inc. It is available for viewing online at “mathewscountyva.gov/355/Meeting-Portal. Click on Public Hearing(s); Proposed Ordinances 22-06 and 22-07, Transfer of Public Land, dated 12/6/2022.”
Prepared by Mathews County Attorney Andrea Erard, the deed would convey 80.97 square feet of land plus the monument to a private, non-stock corporation established by Bavon resident David M. “Sonny” Fauver, a longstanding member of the Lane Armistead Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
The document includes a number of terms and conditions that would run with the property if it were conveyed. They include automatic reversion to the county of the property if the new corporation ceases to exist and the stipulation that the parcel shall under no circumstances be construed as a buildable lot.
A clause in the agreement that previously gave the first right of refusal to the county if Mathews War Memorial Preservation decided to sell, gift or otherwise convey the property now states that the County of Mathews “will purchase the Property for the sum of $10 if the Mathews War Memorial Preservation Inc. no longer wishes to own the Property.”
The deed also includes an express agreement that the corporation will maintain the property and the monument in an appropriate manner at all times. This would include no display of signs, except for one or more historical markers or a “wreath to recognize special holidays or events” and no placement of flags other than the official flag of the United States of America, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and Mathews County. In addition, “Any unauthorized placement of flags, signs or other items shall be a trespassing violation. The War Memorial Preservation Inc. and County reserve the right to remove any unauthorized flags or signs and to dispose of such.”
The corporation will be allowed to place a metal or iron fence on the property, “As well as four stone cannonballs on the ledge of the Monument or other additions, if the addition had previously existed and can be proven to exist prior to the deeding of the property.” The document still prohibits other structures or appurtenances and anything being affixed to the monument, except those items expressly allowed.
A previous clause discussing the installation of electricity and the cost of lighting the property and making such the sole responsibility of Mathews War Memorial Preservation Inc. was struck from the document, along with a clause requiring that the corporation ensure the security of the property and preventing its removal from the property.
Instead, a new clause was added requiring that the corporation “maintain a minimum of $2,000,000 liability insurance on the monument and Property, OR The Mathews War Memorial Preservation Inc. shall ensure that the Monument is properly insured in the type and amount of insurance necessary to replace or repair the Monument in the event that the Monument should be damaged or destroyed by a tornado, earthquake, hurricane, an act of war, or any other similar occurrence, or an act of God.”
Expected signatories to the document are County Administrator Ramona Wilson and Mathews War Memorial Preservation Inc. Director David M. Fauver.
Written comments may be submitted to the administration office at email@example.com.