State Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, has sponsored a bill in the current legislative session to name a bridge over the Meramec River in Franklin County the “Marc Perez Memorial Bridge.”
The county-owned bridge that Nieves is seeking to name is the Bend Road bridge in eastern Franklin County.
The county is currently working to secure federal dollars to replace that bridge, which connects with Highway N.
County officials say they closed the bridge for safety and liability reasons in November. However, it could possibly be reopened if repairs are made.
While Nieves has sponsored the bill, he does not expect it to pass.
He said he sponsored the bill as a “symbolic gesture” to honor Perez, who was a “citizen activist,” especially when it came to Second Amendment rights, according to Nieves.
“I just wanted to kind of commemorate his life by introducing the bill,” Nieves said.
Campaign disclosure reports show that Marc Perez of Glencoe had donated to the Citizens for Nieves political committee.
Perez spent significant time at the State Capitol, where members of the House and Senate honored him last week, Nieves added. Perez’s widow was presented with a resolution to commemorate her late husband’s life.
In December, Perez passed away after a battle with cancer, Nieves said, adding that he was a personal friend. Perez likely used the bridge when he was driving to the Capitol, Nieves added.
Shortly before his passing, Perez had hosted a Second Amendment rally in Union.
Nieves said he does not think the bill will pass because he is not going to pursue it aggressively.
Getting a bridge named after someone is a hard fight, and there are other figures of historic significance in the area that could be considered as well, Nieves added.
Nieves said he does not want to stir up a hornets nest by pursuing it.
The bill states that the Department of Transportation would erect and maintain signs designating the bridge “with the cost of such designation to be paid for by private donations.”
According to Nieves, Perez had once lived in the Pacific area and also owned property in Catawissa.
Toward the end of his life, Perez moved toward Wildwood, Nieves said.