SCHPC plans to create local recognition

Monday, September 10, 2012

Local preservation awards can be as simple as a small trophy or as complex as creating a nationally recognized historic district.

The Saline County Historic Preservation Commission hopes to find the perfect fit for the area.

At the Thursday, Sept. 6, meeting the commission and its guest discussed the best way to approach creating a method for recognition.

Advisory board member Kim Duncan intends to visit Jo Ann Radetic with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to learn what has worked in other communities.

Bill Sleeper, ex officio member of the commission, suggested knocking on doors and drumming up local support. He feared the awards may be perceived as regulations and not as recognitions.

"It might help with the attitude toward our history and architecture ... it's not to make them toe the line," explained commission chairman Eric Crump.

Crump suggested that during the October meeting the group present ideas for both outreach and potential criteria.

He also updated the commission on two pending projects. Recently, SCHPC and the Saline County commissioners supported a nomination to place the old Fitzgibbon Hospital on the National Register of Historic Places. Crump said the nomination has traveled from the state to the federal level. He anticipates a response in the upcoming weeks.

"We think it's very likely they'll agree," Crump said. "We don't have any reason to believe they won't."

The commission also supported a grant proposal for an archeological dig in Van Meter State Park. Crump said park officials have worked with these excavators before and are eager for another project. The county will have to pay the initial cost of $13,691, however that money will be reimbursed by the state.

Following scheduled business, the group entertained a lengthy discussion regarding the need for a place to showcase local historical items.

"Once something leaves Marshall and Saline County ... it's hard to get it back," Sleeper said.

Crump suggested that SCHPC could sponsor an artifact preservation presentation. He noted that many people have locally significant papers and items, but few have the resources or knowledge to maintain them.

The next SCHPC meeting will be Thursday, Oct. 4, at the Saline County Courthouse.

Contact Maggie Menderski at mmenderski@marshallnews.com

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