From WMBF News partner MyHorryNews.com:
CONWAY, SC (MyHorryNews.com) – The civil lawsuit filed by Nye’s Pharmacy of Conway, Inc. against Conway Cultural Development Corporation on October 12, claiming the CCDC was wrongfully withholding some of the original circa 1952 letters from the pharmacy’s iconic sign, was dismissed this morning in Conway Magistrate Court.
“The defendant returned most of the items that were in his possession, and therefore there is no need to continue with this action,” said Matt Combs, in his letter submitted to the Conway Magistrate Court’s Clerk of Court filed this morning. Combs and his wife, Tiffany, are owners of the Nye’s Pharmacy business.
The CCDC was involved in organizing the restoration and replacement of the sign. David Nye owns the Nye’s Pharmacy building, but the Combs’ own and run the pharmacy business.
Stevens personally returned all 16 letters in his possession (there were 24 in total, with eight missing) on Tuesday afternoon.
In his statement to the Magistrate’s Court, Stevens said the Combs don’t own the actual Nye’s building, they only are leasing the building, so he says they cannot claim ownership of the sign and its parts.
In the original civil suit documents, the Combs claimed they heard through a third party that a few letters had been sold to fund the project, and that an “acquaintance’s son” had purchased one of the letters. Stevens denies any knowledge of such a transaction, and in his response letter, says that to find the missing letters, the Combs should contact the aforementioned acquaintance’s son.
“We do not know what happened to the other eight letters, as they were never in our possession and we were not involved in any transaction or act relating to their disappearance,” Stevens said.
Matt Combs said they weren’t trying to slam anyone with the case. He says he is asked multiple times every week about when the new sign will be back up, and they are ready to get it done.
Combs said he spoke with Thompson Roofing this morning and they are coordinating with Seaboard Signs to finish this project.
Quinn Thompson of Thompson Roofing said today that he is checking the markings for the stanchions tomorrow or Saturday, and hopefully if all goes well and they coordinate with Seaboard Signs, the new sign will be in place within the week.
“It’s been a long, complex journey for all of us … we are doing this for the good of the community, and we know it means a lot to people,” Stevens said.
What took so long?
At the end of 2015, SignPro, whose officials were working on the sign as a community service without pay, had a permit issued to restore the old, heavily-rusted sign. The sign was removed from the building on January 12, 2016.
It was determined shortly thereafter that some of the letters were too rusty to use. New letters were crafted from aluminum and added to the sign. Winds from Hurricane Matthew splintered a barn near where the refurbished sign was placed after the work was finished, and pieces of the barn slammed into the sign, damaging it. The roof of Nye’s was also damaged in the storm.
Nye’s roof had to be replaced, which made it necessary for new stanchions to be built to hold the sign in place.
Brian Gabe from Seaboard Signs then volunteered his time to help complete the project. By then he believed the sign was too damaged to be restored, so he made a new sign, exactly like the original one but using newer materials. The work was then considered a replica and had to go back through the City of Conway to be approved as a variance, which the Board of Zoning Appeals did on April 27 of this year.
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