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Washington County Courthouse
March 8, 2011

  • 6:04 p.m. meeting called to order
  • No guests
  • Roll Call of commissioners. Princella Nowell, Walley Morse, Emmett Smith, Johnnie Gibson. Betty Coleman, Melanie Sanders absent. Dell Jones excused due to weather, Dorothy Williams because it is Fat Tues., Cindy Ayers is in Jackson, which means we didn’t have a quorum for any decisions that we need to make.
  • Minutes from February 8, 2011 read and approved.
Old Business
  1. First part of survey of Downtown Greenville done and sent to MDAH for their approval. Vicki Myers said go ahead and pay her, so I sent the $2,400.00 to her. Have yet to hear from MDAH when we will get a copy of what we just paid for. Nancy Bell said she could do the Hollandale survey for $700.00.
  2. Emmett Smith gave a recap of the MDAH training session in Indianola. Melanie Sanders, Emmett Smith and Walley Morse went to the Indianola meeting. Cindy Ayers went to the Jackson meeting.
  3. Brad Jones has the John Fox marker and is going to have to do some welding on the sign, and get B&B Signs to touch up the sign it looked so poorly.
  4. Larry Jones, Delta EDC, and his staff looked at the Depot and are considering moving their operation into the Depot if we can get it fixed up. Also the Chamber of Commerce. Since it sits on the Gateway to Downtown Greenville, it would be a natural fit. Johnnie Peal suggested we take Mr. Jones and others over to Eupora where they redid their depot and the Economic Development Organization moved into the depot there.
  5. Walley Morse made a presentation to the Hollandale Rotary Club, and as a follow-up set up an appointment with Mayor Willis (662-390-7616) and the Aldermen at their next meeting April 5th. At that time he will make the case for Historic Preservation in Downtown Hollandale and see about the funding for the survey.
  6. Princella signed the last form for the oral history grant and with the local community public radio station WDSV 91.9 coming on line Friday (11th). Walley is going to try and partner with them in our own oral history program. The Commissions interviews could be played and new interviews could be done live on public radio.
  7. Applications for National Register status still moving forward. Should be all done by next month’s meeting.
  8. Belinda Stewart Architects, (Belinda and Craig Bjorgum) looked over the Depot and Miller Memorial Building. Catherine Garner (Greenville Support Group), Leonard Williams (County Planning Director) all looked at both buildings. Mr. Williams is applying for the Civil Rights Historic Building grant for the Miller Memorial building. And the feasibility of the Transportation Enhancement grant from MDOT was discussed.
  9. Bank Statements were reviewed.

New Business

  1. Discussion of the historic districts sign guidelines was discussed. The Design Guidelines have nothing about signage so the Commission needs to develop an ordinance for the sign guidelines. A couple of examples were presented and a meeting with the City Planning Department should be our next step.
  2. The Washington County Tombstone project was discussed where we compile the information on cemeteries and add those to our web site. Many people from out-of-town are interested in cemeteries and there is no current resource they can access. Princella brought up the fact that most of the white cemeteries were documented, but the black cemeteries were not. Princella said there is a book at the public library “A Early Mississippi Record” by Alice Wade and Cat Branton that documents a lot of cemeteries. It would make a good project the Commission could undertake.
  3. Minutes from Cleveland Heritage Commission were discussed with some discussion on once we have a local historic district established there will be some opposition to the Commission's decisions.
  4. A tax abatement program was discussed. Main Street Greenville has a program in place, but no ordinance or firm commitment. A need for a city ordinance in the historic district for tax abatement to encourage investors to look at Greenville. With the Tax Abatement program, and Tax Credits in place it would encourage investors who are looking for a good return on their investment (ROI).
  5. John Hopkins (Memphis) had emailed a rough proposal to do the Downtown Greenville nomination to the National Register. It is still early to make a decision since we have yet to see the historic resource survey. But his proposal will be taken under consideration.
  6. National Park service new web site for Technical Preservation is www.nps.gov/history/hps.tps. A link from our web site would help those considering historic preservation.
  7. Walley showed a photo from the MDAH digital files of the Greenville Fire Department dated 1898. Also noted that the collection had a number of photos from the flood of 1897.
  8. The possibilities of combining the Washington County Historical Society with the Commission was discussed. Since the Historical Society is a 501 3c nonprofit organization, there would be funding opportunities that the Commission currently doesn’t have. Princella noted that at some future date that may be possible after the Commission accomplished all they have on their current plate.
  9. Gamwyn Park Historic Residential District photos of the 30 properties had been taken with short histories of each building so we could post them on our web site. All the information will be given to Lonnie Looper, our web page designer. The cost had already been paid with our last grant.
  10. A tour of Lake Washington had again been proposed as soon as it warms up.
  11. Newspaper article about Billy Johnson, Leland Highway 61 Museum, was discussed. Emmett said he would contact him for additional information on starting a Wildlife Heritage Museum.
  12. Meeting adjourned 7:24 until April 12th 2011.
— Minutes done by Walley Morse, Secretary.
  Minutes – March 8, 2011