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Washington County Courthouse
August 11, 2009

  • 6:00 p.m. meeting called to order by Chairperson Melanie Sanders
  • Recognize guest; Betty Lynn Cameron (Main Street Association) Lorenzo Anderson (City Engineer)
  • Minutes read and approved from July 14, 2009
  • Commissioners present; Melanie Sanders, Princella Nowell, Walley Morse, Dell Jones, Dorothy Williams, Emmett Smith, Betty Coleman.
  • Johnnie Gibson excused due to death of her father. No word from Cindy Ayers.
Old Business
  1. Read Finlay House letter from SDRHA. Everyone agreed that any further action on our part would be counter productive.
  2. IC Depot status; Hooker engineering is doing survey. Everyone agreed that we need to move forward with that process, so we can get on the Mississippi Landmark program and hence eligible for funds.
  3. Preserve America Program; Mayor Hudson had received a letter that they needed more information, and Walley said he would send off that information ASAP.
  4. Towboat Museum is on temporary hold.
  5. Miller Memorial building just needs Walley and Johnnie Gibson to set down and put together the application for listing on the National Register.
  6. Disbursed funds authorized by Board of Commissioners and County Board of Supervisors.
  7. Walley had read over a number of COA’s from other communities and would compile a COA for our board and present it at the next meeting.
  8. Design Guidelines were presented to all members present and Betty made a motion to look over the printed guidelines and vote on their acceptance at the next meeting. 2nd by Dorothy and passed.
  9. Walley had communicated with Nancy Bell, executive director, Vicksburg Foundation of Historic Preservation, on her doing our Historic District Survey. She quoted a price of about $3600, which MDAH was grant ½ of that amount. Walley had requested matching funds from the county and city, but had low expectations on receiving those funds.
  10. Downtown Convention center located in the old Armory Building was put on hold due to the fact that it was not in the National Register Downtown Historic District and funds would be hard to come by.
  11. Walley had applied for and received the Commissions own Federal Tax ID Number due to the fact that we were part of both City and County administrations.
  12. Historic Preservation Manual was put on extended hold due to more pressing matters.

New Business

  1. Meeting has been set up with MACE (owners of Elks Lodge on Washington Ave) for August 18, 2009 at 11am to discuss that building and their long range plans.
  2. Discussed Oral History Program, in conjunction with Delta Foundation and with their radio station WDSV 91.9 FM. Walley had found some grant money from Mississippi Humanities Council which works with Mississippi Southern University in their Oral History Program. Princella had some experience in that field and Betty made the motion for Walley to apply for those funds with Dorothy 2nd and passed.
  3. Rotary Club had requested Walley to speak at their November 5, 2009 meeting on Historic Preservation. After some discussion it was agreed that Melanie look into the possibility of having a joint meeting with Rotary/Lions/Kiwanis all at the same time at the County Club so we could have a larger audience. Princella could give her 30 min Blanton Park powerpoint presentation and we could introduce our Board to the public. It was also agreed that we have a public presentation of the board at the Percy Library. With input from Lorenzo it was decided that Oct 20th 2009, after the city council meeting would be a good time. With refreshments provided by our Commissioners. Announcement made at the council along with news media invited.
  4. November 6, 2009 Delta District MDAH workshop scheduled at the Wetherbee House with refreshments provided by Betty Lynn. Workshop at 1:00 followed by a tour through the Flood Museum.
  5. Walley had found a additional grant for a Web Site and requested permission to pursue that Grant. He had contacted Nancy Tinker, National Trust for Historic Preservation. Due October 1, 2009. Also will contact Lonnie Looper to get a firm price on the cost. Mr. Looper’s web site www.cwreplicas.com and at the bottom it shows “view my portfolio” which you can click on and see some of the sites he has done. Betty made the motion to proceed with the grant, 2nd by Dorothy and passed.
  6. Short discussion on Bronze Plaques for Historical Sites. All agreed it was a good idea on the availability of funds.Walley gave everyone photo of “Hollyknowe” and map to its location, expressing the need that every board member should know all of the Mississippi Landmarks and sites on the National Register. He would supply those lists by e-mail to all members.
  7. Walley noted that additional grants were available for Mississippi Landmark Buildings. Discussed Section XIII of ordinance “Demolition by Neglect” and the need for Mace to take some action on the ELK”S LODGE building.
  8. Discussed the possibility of adding an Historic Downtown Hollandale district. Dell gave a short summary on the activities in Hollandale. The purchase of Sam Chatman’s early home, and proposed museum, plus other activities the Hollandale Community are doing to preserve their history. It was agreed that we could include Hollandale when Nancy Bell came to do the Greenville survey. Dell made the motion with Betty 2nd that we move forward with that plan, and do what ever is necessary to make those arrangements. Walley will secure the maps, etc and work with Dell this upcoming month and they will make a presentation at the next board meeting.
  9. Discussed at field trip to Helena Arkansas for historical research, Betty Lynn suggested that maybe she could organize such a trip. Will stay in touch with Betty Lynn on possibility.
  10. Discussed ‘Mississippi River Trail’ organization and spring ‘tour ‘da Delta’ bike ride. Walley had notified Wesley at CVB that our organization wanted to stay in the loop on that event and do what we could to make it an event here in Greenville.
  11. Discussed “Mt Helena” antebellum home in Rolling Fork, that it would be a good field trip for us to see what can be done to an antebellum home. All agreed and Walley to set up a field trip with Meg Cooper’s help and keep everybody informed on when.
  12. As per our by-laws Walley had submitted a budget request to city and county. $875.00 from each just to match MDAH’s grant for the historic survey. Walley still feels comfortable he will find funds for matching grants.
  13. Meeting adjourned 7:30.
— Minutes done by Walley Morse, Secretary

Footnote; after the meeting as we were leaving, noticed smoke coming from downtown. Followed the smoke and found that fellow historian Phil Vazanna’s home was ablaze. It was the historic Shelton house as per Princella who was also there. A large part of Greenville history went up in smoke along with Phil’s heart. We are grateful that Phil was not in the building, but we all share in his grief.

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