ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. — UPS is considering expanding in Alamance County and bringing 450 jobs but now the debate over a Confederate monument in Graham has caught their attention.
The company released a statement siding with residents and activists who want to see the statue relocated.
It comes after a woman representing groups against the Confederate monument was removed from an August 17 Alamance County Commission meeting. UPS representatives were there.
"We recently became aware of concerns from local citizens objecting to a Confederate monument in Alamance County and asking UPS to support efforts to remove the memorial," a UPS statement said, "We support the calls for the removal of the Confederate monument and finding a proper place for it to be moved."
Both Mebane and Graham own the property UPS is considering. The company said they would bring 451 jobs with an average annual salary of $65,147.
Alamance County Commissioners approved $1,311,070 to attract UPS to Mebane at its August 17 meeting.
Graham also improved incentives earlier this month.
WFMY News 2 asked a UPS spokesperson what would happen if county and city officials don't relocate the statue. He said the company contacted local officials and told them they support moving the monument.
Graham City Manager Frankie Maness said those conversations are continuing.
"Like UPS, the City believes there is no room for racism or any form of hate in our community," Maness said in a statement to WFMY News 2, "We look forward to the opportunity of working with our citizens, community partners and business leaders such as UPS to address any form of racism, hatred or intolerance."
Maness said it is up to Alamance County officials to remove the monument. County leaders did not respond to requests for comment on UPS' statement.
In June, Mebane's mayor and two city councilmembers signed a letter with leaders across Alamance County calling for the monument to be relocated. No current Alamance County officials or City of Graham officials signed that letter.
"If UPS decided not to come to Mebane, Alamance County, it would be regretful," Mebane City Councilmember Patricia Philipps said in a statement.
Philips was one of the Mebane officials who signed the letter and said her comments do not represent the opinions of all city council members.
"The refusal of the County Commissioners to address this situation could cause serious economic harm, in addition to perpetuating the label of racism. Hopefully, appropriate action will be taken on this divisive situation."
UPS said it would invest up to $262,214,227 in Alamance County with real property and equipment, and job creation if the Mebane site is chosen.
UPS has not said when they will make a decision on the location. When asked if they had approved the incentives from Alamance County and Graham, UPS spokesperson Glenn Zaccara said the company had no announcement at this time.
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