Minutes – 2021-05-12

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The Historic Preservation Commission met via Zoom on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. Members present on Zoom were Leah Rogers, Janet Budack, Duane Each, Donnie Moore, Suzette Astley, Angie Bauman Power, Wade Squiers, and Guy Booth. Also present was Hugh Lifson, former commissioner, and Brayden Rood, Dan Campagna, and Amy White, all from the Mount Vernon Lisbon Community Theater.

The Minutes of the meeting of April 4, 2021 were approved.

The design review issue on the agenda relates to the plans of the Mount Vernon Lisbon Community Theater putting on the first annual presentation of the Shakespeare Summer Festival. They will be doing this outdoors at the gazebo. Dan Campagna gave a presentation regarding how the gazebo will be used to be the stage for the play. Dan presented drawings of how the gazebo can be converted into an outdoor theater for this type of production. A thrust stage will be constructed, but will be independent of the gazebo structure. Further, flats will be used for the sets, and these also will be self-standing, and will not need to be drilled into the structure. Rear steps will be provided at the back of the gazebo, and side steps on the thrust stage. The plans for construction have been worked on with John Stoner, who has great background and experience, having been in theater design and construction in Los Angeles. The play selected for the first presentation is a Midsummer Nights Dream. It will be presented September 10 and 11, and September 17 and 18. The theater has done an excellent job planning the stage, and respecting the integrity of the gazebo. There will need to be exclusive use of the gazebo for rehearsal and set-up prior to the production, and there will need to be some time for the theater to remove the thrust stage and other additions.

It was moved and seconded that the Commission approve a temporary certificate of no material effect that shall expire on September 30, 2021. The motion carried. It was decided that an annual certificate may be a good idea so there will be some annual oversight as to the use of the gazebo.

Under old business, the Commission had a discussion regarding the cemetery assessment and the City’s view of work that could be done at the cemetery. Guy Booth has had a conversation with Chris Nosbisch, City Administrator, to present the idea of a non-profit corporation being started that would be the friends of the Mount Vernon Cemetery. This non- profit association could be the recipient of funds from many sources, which would then be available for maintenance and repair of gravesites. Chris indicated he felt this was a good idea, and helps the City solve the dilemma that the City has no authority to do any work on gravesites, as the gravesites are private property. Guy suggested that if a non-profit corporation were formed, the Bylaws could require that there be representation from the various stakeholders so that there will be a diversity of background and views in the operation of the corporation.

Leah discussed the results of the cemetery assessment that was done by John Heider of RIP, Ltd. Mr. Heider was able to show the variety of gravestones and the variety of condition of the gravesites. He also gave information regarding the cost that would be charged by RIP, Ltd in

doing repair to the gravesites. Donnie Moore and Duane Eash met with Mr. Heider and spent time helping with the identification of gravesites and markers that needed repair. Leah Rogers was present and had people from her company observe and assist. It is the opinion of the Commission that the cemetery is a significant historical feature of the community and plans for its long-term care should be implemented. This will be an ongoing item on the HPC agenda.

Guy will do a draft of initial paperwork and will meet with the interested stakeholders so the foundations of this project can be put in place.

Leah gave a brief update on the walking tour, which is still scheduled for June 22, and also information from Mary Evans regarding the availability of the archive room, which should occur in the very near future. Mary also reported that the current balance in the HPC budget is $47. The HPC budget should be zeroed out in June, as new funding would be available as of July 1.

Under new business, Leah reminded commission members that they should register for the Preservation Summit. Our registration fees will be reimbursed by HPC. A question was also asked regarding the granite sculpted reliefs that have been removed from the athletic complex.

The location of these granite carved pictures of athletes will no longer be present to be seen from the exterior of the building, but may be present within the building. We will continue to monitor their location so that they are not discarded or placed in a way that no one will be able to see them.

Leah announced that the next meeting of HPC will be June 5 and will be via Zoom.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.

Respectfully Submitted, Guy Booth, Secretary