August 1, 2008

Rooster’s Future Roost Up for Public Input

By Eddie Fitzgerald, The Wilson Daily Times, N.C.

Aug. 1--Foghorn Buckhorn is looking for a home.

The 8-foot, red rooster, which has stood atop the water tower in Wilson Corporate Park for nearly 10 years greeting travelers on Interstate 95 and proclaiming "Wide Awake Wilson," is being taken down sometime in the fall so the tower can be repainted.

County Manager Ellis Williford said since the decision was made to take Foghorn Buckhorn, or "Buck," down, he has seen an interest from the public to keep the symbolic bird in Wilson County.

On the county's Web site --, -- a link has been set up asking people for suggestions about where Buck should be placed.

"If you have a suggestion on where Buck's new home should be send us an email at [email protected]," the site says.

This isn't the first time that the fate of Buck has ended up on the Web site. In the late 1990s, the idea of Buck symbolizing a "Wide Awake Wilson" was met by some opposition. Some people thought the rooster statue was a waste of money, while others thought it was a good promotional tool for the county.

The county manager put a questionnaire on the county Web site then, asking people to vote either in favor of or against the rooster. About 200 people visited the Web site to vote, and by a 10-1 margin they voted in favor of the rooster.

Williford said this time around he has received a couple of emails and calls about the fate of the fiberglass rooster.

"Apparently there was enough interest that we thought we needed a formalized process to get comments," Williford said. "... He had a great tenure on top of the water tower by I-95 and now we thought it was time to let the public tell us where he should roost."

Buck will be put in a public place where everyone can enjoy him, Williford said.

So far three people have written to the Web site saying Buck should remain on the water tower.

Other people have suggested putting Buck in front of the Wilson Medical Center and the Wilson County Fairgrounds.

Saratoga Mayor Tommy Hawkins told Williford he would like to see the rooster near Saratoga.

"Mayor Hawkins said, 'He (Buck) has done so much for I-95 -- now it's time he did something good for us,'" Williford said.

All of the comments about where the rooster should go will be considered and the county will make a decision at a later date, Williford said.

[email protected] -- 265-7820


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