By Patrick McCallister
For Hometown News
HOLLY HILL - There's a battle brewing in Holly Hill. Sometime next year, the North and the South will meet each other with guns blazing. Maybe.
Civil War reenactments are just like real life battles -- they cost money.
"What we need is for (the city) to host the event," Ron Alcorn said in a phone interview. "What we need really is for them to (financially) back us until after the event. We'll make some money, so it won't cost the city anything, really."
Mr. Alcorn is First Sergeant of Morton's Battery, Southern Volunteer Battalion. Civil War reenactors approached the Holly Hill City Commission at its most recent meeting to see if they could get some financial backing to put on a weekend-long event. The reenactors plan to charge $5 a person, and use that to pay back the city. The proposed plan depends on where the battle lines are drawn, Mayor Roy Johnson said in an interview after the meeting. The reenactors propose having the event at Bishop's Farm, 402 Flomich Ave.
"I don't think we can, because it's not in the (Community Redevelopment Area) district," Mr. Johnson said. "I don't think we have money to do something like that except in the CRA."
A portion of taxes paid in Holly Hill's community redevelopment area are placed in a trust fund to be spent in that zone only. Those funds can be used for redevelopment projects, including special events, that enhance the value of the area. While Bishop's Glen is outside the CRA, another 25-acre field is in it -- the former Holly Hill Middle School.
The mayor said that if the reenactors are willing to hold an event at the old school, Holly Hill would have more options to help fund it.
"If that's what it came to, and they were willing to do it, we could probably do something," he said.
Mr. Alcorn said the former school's field isn't the reenactors' top pick.
"We'd rather do it on Bishop's Farm," he said. "You have trees there. It's a little more exciting."
Next year is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, a big year for Civil War buffs and reenactors. Mr. Alcorn said he has no details for the date of the proposed Holly Hill event.
"We have a lot of planning to take place," he said. "It'll happen in the fall or spring next year."
Holly Hill had a Civil War reenactment about 10 years ago. Mr. Alcorn said it was quite a success. So did Mayor Johnson.
"I remember the last one," Mr. Johnson said. "I was there at the last one, and it's a great event. I loved it."