I am writing to suggest a study of the economic impact of the Confederate monument on Main Street in Louisburg.
Although it is difficult to assess the value of historic resources, that does not relieve us of the responsibility to do so in an unbiased and truthful manner.
Do we understand the future financial impacts upon Louisburg College, the Town of Louisburg, and the County of Franklin? If not, why not?
I recognize the controversial nature of this issue, but believe such an analysis can provide a new and, thus far, missing perspective.
We can agree upon the past cost for the purchase and construction of the monument in 1914; that maintenance costs have been minimal; and that it does not generate revenue. By comparison, the economic impact of Louisburg College since 1787 has been substantial.
Notably, other economic impacts have begun to emerge across North Carolina and nationwide. Public safety and liability risks of Confederate monuments now seem of paramount concern, coupled with unfavorable public-relations and deferred economic development.
Do we know the lost opportunity costs caused by the presence of the Confederate monument upon Louisburg College?
My calculations conservatively estimate the economic loss at more than $1.3 million per year. When extended by typical economic multipliers, that loss grows to more than $10 million.
I ask our college leadership, local town and county managers to share their unique impact assessments which can then be consolidated to create a comprehensive Economic Impact Assessment for all to see.
Everyone can then understand the opportunity costs involved should we choose to value a 1914 monument more than a 1787 college campus.
Bob Radcliffe, MBA