FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW ) — At its last meeting, the Florence County Council voted to install a statue of a confederate leader at the Florence County Museum, despite the museum’s board of directors unanimously voting not to display it in 2018.

General William W. Harllee was the lieutenant governor of South Carolina when it became the first state to secede from the Union and was a signer of the Ordinance of Secession.

County Councilman Jason Springs, who voted against the statue’s installation, said it should be on private property.

“We already know that the museum does not want it, but we have some members of the council who want to force them to place it on the museum property,” he said. “My belief is that this statue should not be on public property.”

The statue depicts Harllee and his daughter, Florence, after whom the city and county was named. Harllee was the president of the Wilmington and Manchester Railroad and helped establish the community in the 1850s.

“There are some concerns with members of our community about his Confederate past and his history dealing with the secession of South Carolina,” Springs said. “From my standpoint, I’m working towards bringing everyone together. The last thing I want to do is put something out there that will further divide us.”

After the council voted five-to-four in favor of installing the statue Thursday, members discussed the possibility of placing it elsewhere.

Councilman Alphonso Bradley, who voted against the installation, pointed out that the motion explicitly stated it was to go to the museum.

“Point of order Mr. Chairman,” Bradley said. “The motion was the museum, so I don’t think you can change that.”

“We could amend it,” Councilman Kent Caudle said. “We could make a motion to amend it, maybe?”

“The motion has been voted on and approved,” Council Chair Willard Dorriety, Jr. said.

According to the Harllee Memorial Sculpture Committee, which raised funds for the statue’s creation, the statue has been stored in a warehouse since its completion.

Springs said the fact it hasn’t found a home on private property in the years following the museum board’s decision shows there is not an interest in it.

“We live in a great community where everyone is very tightknit and close, and the last thing we want is something that will divide us,” Springs said. “I just don’t see the benefit of placing that statue.”

Springs hopes to find an alternate location for the statue or overturn the decision at a later date.

“I hope we can come to a consensus among the council of a solution. If not, we’ve still got time,” he said. “There will be one new council member coming on in January and we think he has the same outlook as the four of us do.”

That incoming councilman, William Schofield, called the council overriding the museum’s decision “ridiculous.”

Members of the sculpture committee declined to be interviewed.

Gale Harllee Dixon, the committee’s chair and a descendent of William W. Harllee’s brother, called Harllee a “great man and statesman.”