Chairman Bob Conte called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m., welcoming those present and asked members to introduce themselves. Voting members present were Dr. Ken Bailey, Margaret Brennan, Dr. Gloria Gozdzik, Dr. Charles Ledbetter, Kip Stowell, Noel Tenney, and Marjorie Zirk. Ex officio voting members present were Bill Arnett, president, West Virginia Historical Association, and Michael Shock, president, West Virginia Historical Society. Ex officio non-voting members present were Phyllis Baxter, president, Preservation Alliance of West Virginia; Fredrick Armstrong, director of Archives and History and secretary to the commission; and Susan Pierce, director, Historic Preservation. Voting members absent were Dr. Chuck Hulse, Joy Stalnaker, and Dr. Joan Walker. Non voting ex officio member absent was Dr. Michael Ed. Hohn, acting director, WV Geological and Economic Survey. Others present were Nancy Waggoner; Ginny Painter, interim deputy commissioner; Erin Riebe and Alan Rowe, Historic Preservation staff; and Chad Proudfoot, Capitol Building Commission interim chair.
Before moving forward on the Agenda for the meeting, Mr. Armstrong requested permission from Chairman Conte, and was granted such, to add two items under New Business: (1)New Marker Request for Contested County Seat, Hancock County, and (2)Review of marker refurbishing paint. Ms. Pierce noted the omission of the two Certified Historic Preservation Community applications and asked that they be added.
Chairman Conte referred members to the minutes of the 3 February 2006 meeting, mailed earlier, and asked for a motion of approval. Mr. Stowell moved to approve the minutes as distributed and Ms. Zirk seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Chairman Conte called for Reports. There was no commissioner's report due to the current vacancy in that position; however, it was noted that later, under New Business, the Legislative Performance Audit and budget would be addressed.
The previously mailed Museums report (copy attached to official minutes) was presented by Ms. Painter in the absence of a museums section director. Reporting on the sites, she informed members that directors for the Museum in the Park, Logan, and West Virginia Independence Hall, Wheeling, were hired. Expanded hours of operation at the Logan site increased visitation and school groups. At WVIH, a grant had been awarded to reproduce the original murals. A feasibility study is being conducted at Camp Washington-Carver by L. A. Gates Company, funded through "Save America's Treasures", and upon completion of the study, the rehabilitation of the facility will be bid out for completion by July 2007. At Greenbottom projects to replace steps and basement windows and make some electrical upgrades are underway. The Museum collection staff is working with the departments of Education and the Arts and of Administration and the Capitol Building Commission on a project to clean and conduct conservation work on twenty-six of the governors' portraits this summer. The Museum Renovation Project remains on hold, with the issue being what the state can afford to build and to maintain. The printed report mailed earlier outlined the process and the need for a consultant and expertise to complete the project. A project management services scope is being developed and will be bid out. A tremendous amount of work is involved and staff continues to work on specs and costs to move the project forward. Members would be informed of the time line and status of the project, which could take from eighteen to twenty-four months to fabricate and install, once the bids are submitted. She concluded with an invitation to tour the Museum area and view the drawings and plans.
There being no questions, Chairman Conte thanked Ms. Painter and called upon Ms. Pierce for the Historic Preservation report. She distributed a report (copy attached to official minutes) and a summary of resource items from the National Register (copy attached to official minutes). She reported on the work of Alan Rowe and Erin Riebe, the Division of Highways, and the consultants hired to develop a bridge survey, with a revised context statement in the review process now. The Downtown Charleston Historic District nomination, after staff attended another City Council meeting, received the city's endorsement and since then, formal listing. The Historic Preservation staff presented a plaque to Mayor Danny Jones at the recent Preservation Conference.
Ms. Pierce noted the upcoming fifty-year anniversary of the interstate highway system and the Federal Highway Administration's plans for exemptions to the Section 106 process. Staff was creating a list of sites and resources eligible for the National Register and these are listed in the summary - Ft. Henry Bridge, Yeager Bridge, Carlton Bridge, and the West Virginia Turnpike (copy attached to official minutes). A second handout summarized the significance of those resources. The Federal Highway Administration accepted all the suggested exemptions which would be published in the Federal Register for public comment.
Staff had participated in History Day and the office co-sponsored the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia and Main Street Conference. She and Chris Knorr participated in panels and staff assisted in selecting photographs for a printed poster, which members were invited to take. The office wrote a Draft RFP for hiring a consultant to work on the five-year comprehensive plan. Chris Knorr had been meeting with various landmark commissions, and Jeff Davis has been working with the archaeological surveys, assigning site numbers as forms come in. At Grave Creek, two curators had been hired. Work on re-advertising the RFP for the addition was to be submitted in June. Knorr is busy with tax projects and staff had reviewed sixty-four development grants, which would be up for consideration later on the agenda. She reported on plans to hire an architect to assist Chris Knorr in monitoring development grants. Staff had provided comments on the proposed window project in the Governor's Mansion to the Capitol Building Commission and have also been working on the GIS system, which members can access for National Register properties through WVU's web site (mapwvu.gov). She concluded by announcing that a new structural historian for Section 106 would begin work in July and possibly a historian later in the summer.
Chairman Conte, in the absence of questions of Ms. Pierce, called on Fredrick Armstrong for the Archives and History report. Mr. Armstrong referred members to copies of monthly reports for February through May, distributed earlier (copy attached to official minutes). He commented on the Library statistics, noting that researcher numbers remained static and that they are introducing workshops of the collections conducted by staff as a means to increase public awareness and use. Since the last meeting, the carpeting and its resulting disruption has been completed and computer terminals have been placed at both library desks to provide better reference service. He noted staff assistance on behalf of History Day in March and Hoot Owl (done in conjunction with Mining Your History Foundation) on 1 April, which had 47 paid participants and raised more than $1,000 for the replacement of microfilm and printed collections that have become worn out over time.
Additions to the web site have slowed, as staff has been involved in a major shift of collections and construction of shelving for these and the Randolph Papers. Members were invited to tour the third and fourth floor collections areas to see the progress of this project. Emphasis for the web was to complete the statehood and school photo presentations, as well as the yearbook collection listing, and to add news clips from the state television holdings and finding aids to make it easier for potential researchers to become aware of collection research areas. This included the W. W. Trent, Logan Coal Operators, and Senator Chapman Revercomb collections. Collection processing is progressing on the A. Spates Brady and Senator Jennings Randolph Papers. The transfer of video to DV format and the process of capturing scenes for a visual index to the news stories is making steady progress, but so far without the equally important text-based index for access.
Reporting on the activity of the highway historic marker program, some of which will be addressed later on today's agenda, he announced that the legislature had appropriated $75,000 for the next fiscal year to begin a refurbishing program for damaged markers, those needing to be refurbished, painted or replaced. The Federal Highway Enhancement T-21 grant proposal, submitted to the Division of Highways, made the first cut and is among those being considered by the Governor's Office. The current issue of West Virginia History, Volume 60, is at the press and will be out later this month. This would be the last issue produced under the auspices of Archives and History, as stated in the West Virginia Code, as it had been given to others to publish. Mr. Armstrong stated he disagreed with the transfer and fought to continue the publication as stated in the Code, but higher authority ruled against this. He concluded his report with the announcement that Archives and History and Mining Your History Foundation were collaborating with Virginia Genealogical Society to hold a joint genealogy conference on records and families across the borders, on November 3-4, in Lewisburg and hosted by the Greenbrier Historical Society. In response to Ms. Brennan's question about the move of the journal, Mr. Armstrong stated that it was changed because his superior decided she wanted to place it with West Virginia University Press. Chairman Conte thanked Mr. Armstrong for all his work over the years, adding that he knew this was a difficult situation and apparently it has been resolved. In reply to Ms. Brennan's final question, Mr. Armstrong stated that Archives and History would not be associated with the journal, as the editing, publishing, and all responsibilities for the publication were transferred through a Memorandum of Understanding, signed by his superior, with the West Virginia University Press. Chairman Conte requested the minutes reflect the chairman's comments of appreciation for his work.
Chairman Conte invited Chad Proudfoot, interim chair of the Capitol Building Commission, to give his report. He reported that the Capitol Building Commission had met in a regular meeting on April 18 and a special meeting on May 18. During the legislative session two bills had been introduced, one a continuation bill under the Sunset Law and the other a comprehensive overhaul, which would have strengthened the commission, but the latter was introduced late in the session and failed to move. The continuation bill, extending the commission until 2009, passed. He noted the two vacancies on the commission, which, with only five positions made it difficult to obtain a quorum and conduct business. He informed members that the Capitol Dome Project was completed ahead of schedule, under budget at $4,000,866,984. The commission was now working with the Governor and First Lady on the renovations at the Governor's Mansion. They had approved most of the renovations earlier and had toured the areas in April. He noted that the commission had approved Historic Preservation Office's recommendations to repair those windows requiring work, over replacing them. Since then, the windows were replaced with vinyl and the commission is working with the Historic Preservation Office and the Governor and First Lady to get the issues resolved. At its April meeting, the commission voted to approve a formal planning and design phase for an addition adjacent to the Governor's Mansion for a banquet and entertainment facility, which would have to be presented to the commission for consideration and approval. The commission was also given updates on the proposed new Capitol building to be built on California Avenue for the Lottery Commission, Budget Offices, Tax and Revenue, etc. He concluded his report, stating that the commission had denied the permanent removal of an original vault door in the current Budget Office, but allowed its temporary removal to facilitate the relocation of some office equipment and furnishings.
Chairman Conte called for Old Business, at which time Mr. Armstrong reported that, on earlier direction of the commission, he had secured the date of Thursday, 22 February 2007, for History Day, which had already been posted on the web site and publicized in the newsletter. He informed members that he had met several times with the History Hero nominee who had challenged his disqualification this year because he was a prior recipient. The issue was resolved from the perspective of the commission and History Day sponsors, but there were problems with this program and other History Day programs that needed to be addressed in a meeting of the sponsors before the announcements go out this fall. He referred members to a newspaper clipping, mailed with the materials for today's meeting, in which Mr. Steve Fesenmaier, one of the recipients of the History Hero Certificate, addresses what he thinks the sponsors should be doing with History Day. Chairman Conte asked Mr. Armstrong to work with the commission's History Day chairwoman to call a meeting of the sponsors in September, before the next commission meeting, for this purpose.
Chairman Conte addressed the matter of commission appointments. Mr. Armstrong noted that, as of 30 June, only the two ex officio voting and two ex officio non-voting members would not be serving under expired appointments and added that members continue to serve until they either submit a written resignation or, the other choice, expire. He stated his concern with those elected to serve as officers next year, in the event the appointment process re-placed them. Chairman Conte stated it seems appropriate that a letter, probably under his signature, be sent to the governor expressing these concerns. Dr. Gozdzik made a motion that the chairman of the Archives and History Commission write a letter to the governor explaining that the appointed members need either to be reappointed or new members need to be found. Dr. Bailey provided the required second. Motion carried.
Chairman Conte called upon Susan Pierce for a status report on the Blair Mountain nomination. She reviewed the past actions on the nomination and informed members that HP had received a revised nomination from the sponsor, which was to address the National Park Service's request for additional information, about two months ago (3 April 2006). Staff had reviewed the nomination and provided additional comments to the sponsors last week. She briefly reviewed the draft, which included a resource count added in Section 5, a rewritten Section 7 narrative, and a rewritten and reorganized Section 8. An addendum, added to Section 8, addressed archaeological resources. The information submitted addressed the four elements of integrity that comments of the Keeper suggested were needed. Historic Preservation requested some clarification of the appended information and documentation, primarily the maps and the photographs. They had requested the nomination boundary be superimposed over the aerial images to make it easy to identify and evaluate the integrity of the ridge, and that one map have the directional North arrow and other location information added. Additional explanation was requested for areas where the current boundary jutted out from the main ridge line. A new resource, a new battle map entitled "The Battle of Blair Mountain, Disposition of Forces," which is color coded and shows the locations and events associated with the battle, was very helpful. There were some issues regarding the archaeological site, for which HP requested a response from the sponsor, and some editing comments regarding Section 8. The sponsors now have these comments to respond to and to continue the editing of the current nomination. In response to Chairman Conte, she stated that they would be getting back to the office with this, but that they had no deadline or time frame for a response.
Chairman Conte advised members of the public that if they wished to address the commission on the Blair Mountain nomination, they had to register with Ms. Waggoner in advance and would be granted five minutes. Mr. Bill DePaulo introduced himself as counsel for the sponsor. He noted there were two other agenda items on the same topic and he would be happy to defer his comments until then. Chairman Conte stated Mr. DePaulo's comments would be deferred under New Business. Dr. Bailey asked Ms. Pierce to address the process after the sponsor addresses Historic Preservation staff comments and returns the nomination. She replied that they would evaluate it again and if it is determined that it meets the requirements of the National Register, they would determine whether it should be returned to the Keeper, or returned to the commission for its review. If the boundary changes this would require commission review, but if the boundary does not change, it can go to the Keeper. Dr. Gozdzik noted that the nomination was based on the integrity of the battlefield and not archaeology and asked about the inclusion of, and new references to, archaeological sites. Ms. Pierce stated the sponsors were responding to the Keeper's request for additional information regarding the archaeological resources, adding that the nomination is being submitted under Criterion A, not D. Alan Rowe stated it was to support the boundary of the battle that occurred in those locations based on the retrieval of artillery, etc. related to that time period.
There being no other questions, Chairman Conte granted Mr. Ted Hackney, who introduced himself as an international representative for the United Mine Workers, five minutes to address the commission. He informed members he had a statement from the international's president as to their support for placing Blair Mountain on the National Register and to summarize their position, stating it was a significant battle for people in the labor movement and for the United States government as well, as this was one of the first times aerial warfare was used by the National Guard. He requested that the letter from the international's president (copy attached to official minutes) be made a matter of record of the commission. Mr. Armstrong accepted the letter, stating it would be recorded with the official minutes and copies provided to commission members today.
Chairman Conte stated there were some legal issues that the commission needed to address relevant to the Battle of Blair Mountain nomination and introduced Ms. Kate Campbell, the commission's counsel. As the discussion involved attorney-client issues, it had been suggested that the commission move into Executive Session. Mr. DePaulo then asked to address the commission, stating that his client's motion to intervene had been granted and the proposed settlement agreement that was circulated between two prior parties was effectively moot. Were the commission to go into Executive Session today and say that the proposed settlement agreement is perfect and approve it and say to go ahead, the attorney would submit it to Judge O'Briant who would immediately set it down for a hearing. He continued by saying that the Attorney General's Office and Jackson Kelly can not resolve the litigation without his client's consent. Mr. DePaulo stated the judge has granted the order allowing him to participate as an intervenor in the litigation and provided a copy to Mr. Armstrong, lead named defendant (copy attached to official minutes). He cited Halstead vs. Dials in support of his position, stating that once a party has been granted intervenor status, the other parties can not resolve the litigation without that party being aware of, participating in, and either consenting to the settlement or, alternatively, the court determining after a full and fair hearing that the settlement is appropriate. He spoke to the merits and substance of the case, adding that the commission has a very credible motion to dismiss pending before the judge and that they should set it for a hearing and let the judge decide. He then spoke to the methods and means being used by the plaintiffs and advised that if successful on this issue, it would be used repeatedly hereafter with other of their subsidiaries. He further noted that, in his opinion, none of the additions and responses added to the nomination at the request of the Keeper are such to trigger the entire public notice, public hearing, etc., process that they went through last year. He concluded that there was nothing which benefitted the commission in the settlement agreement, but rather a total capitulation to everything the property owners wanted.
Chairman Conte thanked him and asked the interest of the commission in either a motion or discussion on the idea of an Executive Session. Dr. Bailey moved that the commission go into Executive Session to have the Attorney advise on legal questions regarding the Proposed Settlement Agreement & Agreed Order of Dismissal and the response and effect on the commission; Dr. Ledbetter seconded the motion. Motion carried. Chairman Conte cited the West Virginia Code § 6-9A-4(a) & (b) to go into Executive Session at 10:30 a.m. in the Childers Room at the West Virginia Library Commission, located in The Cultural Center. He advised that, following Executive Session, the commission would reconvene back to the Norman L. Fagan Theater for continuation of the meeting and this subject.
Chairman Conte reconvened the meeting following the Executive Session at 11:40 a.m., and asked if there was interest in a motion on accepting or rejecting the Proposed Settlement Agreement & Agreed Order of Dismissal. Dr. Bailey moved that the commission ask its counsel to proceed with the draft agreement to settle the litigation ongoing currently in Logan County. Dr. Ledbetter seconded the motion. Motion carried.
Chairman Conte called for New Business, at which time Paul Nyden, a member of the audience and Charleston Gazette newspaper reporter, interrupted and questioned the intent of the commission's going into Executive Session. Mr. Nyden asked what documents the commission considered or produced involving its action and if it included the intervenor's motion. Chairman Conte stated it was a legal matter and the commission has a right to go into Executive Session for legal advice. He assured Mr. Nyden that the discussion was restricted to the legal issues of the proposed settlement agreement. The larger issue, the Battle of Blair Mountain nomination, had been addressed and approved at the commission's 6 May 2005 meeting and that was public record. After a pause, the response was deferred to the secretary, Mr. Armstrong, who explained that the intervenor's motion to participate had previously been made a matter of record and that it was made known to commission members prior to this meeting. It was referenced and questioned during the discussion as to how this connected to the commission's actions, and everything was done with the documents provided for the intervenor's petition and counsel's filing and response to that and with the settlement and dismissal proposals that had been submitted to the commission previously for discussion. He stated that there were no written materials generated during the Executive Session and that the discussion was limited to the lawsuit against the commission, the proposed draft settlement agreement and dismissal, and the role of the intervenor in this legal process.
At Noon, Chairman Conte called for New Business, and stated that the item, Blair Mountain Intervenor's Motion to Intervene, had been dealt with earlier and Mr. DePaulo had addressed the commission. He dispensed with further discussion and called for the presentation of National Register nominations. As a courtesy to those attending for a presentation, he requested that the order of presentation be re-arranged, having those with interested parties attending presented before lunch. After consultation with Mr. Rowe, Secretary Armstrong informed members the revised order of presentation before lunch would be: York Hill, Jefferson County; Michael Smith House, Braxton County; Chesapeake & Ohio 2755 Steam Locomotive, Logan County; Elk River Coal & Lumber Company #10 Steam Locomotive, Cabell County; and Miller-Pence Farm, Monroe County.
Mr. Rowe introduced Ms. Paula Reed who presented the first nomination, York Hill, Jefferson County. Prior to her presentation, Mr. Armstrong informed members that she had previously served several terms on the commission. She began her slide presentation by advising members that the property, a farmstead and orchard in the Shenandoah Junction Vicinity, was being presented under Criterion A for Agriculture and C for Architecture, with the period of significance being, ca. 1762 to 1956. Mr. Stowell moved to approve the nomination and Ms. Zirk provided the second. Motion passed.
Mr. Rowe presented the Michael Smith House, Cedarville Vicinity, Braxton County, under Criterion C for Architecture, with the period of significance being 1848 and 1878. The house is a log house built in two sections, the original section built in 1848 by Michael Smith and the second section built in 1878 by his youngest son, Jacob. Ms. Joann Daley, representative from the Smith family, spoke to the original family owner/builder. She informed members that the house, which represents migration patterns in West Virginia, has been vacant since 1926, when Jacob died. The cabin had been maintained over the years and she and her cousin, Dr. Gary Smith, were in the process of re-roofing and redoing the sill plate in the back that has dropped down a little. She noted there was no other original log cabin in this Braxton County area that represents the German influence.
Chairman Conte spoke to the nomination and the ambitious work of Ms. Daley and her brother. He asked if the house had ever been in the flood plain, to which Ms. Daley stated it had not. He spoke of the chestnut logs cut from off the farm for the house and the need to preserve it. Mr. Stowell moved for approval of the nomination. Prior to a second, Dr. Gozdzik questioned the house being the last example of this type of architecture and structure in Braxton County. Ms. Daley stated it was not only the last, but the oldest. Ms. Baxter commented on Bulltown log structures, although she was uncertain of the dates, and inquired if some had been moved there from other sites. Ms. Brennan expressed concern for the fragile condition of the structure and asked the owners what they hoped to do to preserve it and their intended purpose for it. She also inquired of their interest in qualifying for tax credits. Dr. Smith spoke to the plans and assured members that the mission set out for preservation of the property would be attained. He expressed interest in qualifying for matching funds if placed on the National Register. They had formed the Smiths of Brush Run Family Heritage Foundation a few years ago, with Ms. Daley serving as president. If successful, it will be tax sheltered. They have raised $6,000 over the last six to eight months and plan to level the structure, repair a few bad logs, put on a new roof and porch, and repair the windows, if salvageable. Dr. Gozdzik stated that the nomination is for a specific type of architecture and design that is very old and questioned, with regard to maintaining the integrity of the house, as to the process and adherence to proper preservation techniques, and whether qualified preservation expertise would be involved. Dr. Smith stated that Tim Burr, who does this type of work, will probably be doing the work and the materials used would replicate the materials in the house. Failing this, he would do the work himself as he has experience in working with log structures. At this point, Ms. Pierce advised members that they had strayed from the question of integrity to rehabilitation issues and processes. Mr. Stowell questioned if the two side porches were original and, if so, did they plan on putting them back on. Dr. Smith replied that they planned to rebuild the porches, but not the kitchen, as it did not appear to be original. After additional discussion on the time period for the additions and alterations to the house, Mr. Tenney suggested that while it may have no bearing on the nomination status, it would be advisable, even with their own expertise, to have a consultant come in at the very beginning and advise on all of the ramifications of rehabilitation or preservation so as to maintain the integrity. There being no further comments or questions with regard to the nomination, Chairman Conte called for a motion on the Michael Smith House. Dr. Arnett moved to approve and Mr. Stowell provided the required second. Motion carried.
Mr. Rowe presented the Chesapeake & Ohio 2755 Steam Locomotive, Chief Logan State Park, Henlawson vicinity, Logan County, under Criterion A for Transportation and C for Engineering, with the period of significance being 1947-1956. He noted that this locomotive was in the third order that the C&O placed for this series and only two of that third order remain, the other located in Newport News, Virginia. He noted the 2755 is located in a fenced enclosure in Chief Logan State Park, near the main building. He referred members to the photographs showing the size and various views of the machine. Chairman Conte commented on the excellent condition of the locomotive. Mr. Tom Lambert, preparer of the nomination, was present, as were representatives of the Island Creek Model Railroad Club, to respond to questions. In reply to Ms. Brennan's question on other locomotives listed, Mr. Lambert stated that the 1308 C&O was listed. After additional comments on other locomotives, Chairman Conte thanked Mr. Lambert and called for a motion on the nomination. Dr. Bailey moved for approval and Dr. Ledbetter provided the second. Motion passed.
Mr. Rowe then presented Elk River Coal & Lumber Company #10 Steam Locomotive, Heritage Village, Huntington, Cabell County, under Criterion A for Transportation and C for Engineering, with the period of significance being 1924-1956. He noted this particular locomotive was built by ALCO, the American Locomotive Company, in 1924 in New York and served its early and middle years in Ohio on the Toledo Angola & Western Railroad until 1949. The Elk River Coal & Lumber Company of Clay County purchased it in 1950 to serve the coal operations in Widen. Mr. Rowe referred to photographs and the locomotive's smaller size compared to the one in Logan County, previously nominated. It was a specialized locomotive meant for light-duty work, suited for short lines and yard switching, and ideally suited for the work in Clay County, where it moved gob from a mine to a dump site. This locomotive was a very good representation of West Virginia's last days of steam and contributed to its popularity with rail fan interest during the 1950s and 1960s when many travelled the state to see them in operation. Ms. Brennan complimented Mr. Lambert on his nomination and the very interesting history. Dr. Ledbetter moved approval of the nomination; Dr. Arnett provided the second; motion carried.
Mr. Rowe introduced Dr. Barbara Rasmussen who presented the Miller-Pence Farm, Greenville Vicinity, Monroe County, under Criterion A for Education/Settlement and Social History, C for Architecture and D for Archaeology, with the period of significance being 1770-1955. She noted in particular the three stairwells in the house, constructed with each second- story addition, as well as the 1850 replacement windows in a much larger sill, complimenting the carpentry of that time. Based on research on the two school buildings on the property, it was determined that one, in very frail condition, with only one window, was used for education of children prior to emancipation; the other, more spacious, was used for the education of the Pence children who lived on the two adjoining farms in the neighborhood. She noted that one generation of the Pence family owned slaves, but they had not been able to determine if the lime kiln, which is in pretty shabby condition, and shows some evidence of possible human habitation, was used for slave quarters or not. She noted that the commission might not consider it a contributing structure because of its condition, and they are willing to amend the nomination according to the commission's interest. The most important resource on the property, in her opinion, is the corn crib which contains the remnants of Jacob Miller's original stronghouse. A family cemetery is located on the property. Following the presentation and a few comments, Chairman Conte called for a motion on the nomination. Ms. Zirk moved for approval and Mr. Tenney provided the second. Motion passed.
At this time, Chairman Conte declared the meeting recessed for lunch, after which the meeting would resume with the remaining three National Register nominations.
The meeting reconvened at 1:50 p.m, with Mr. Rowe presenting Travelers Rest, Burlington Vicinity, Mineral County, under Criterion A for Commerce and C for Architecture, with the period of significance being 1828-1910. Following the presentation, Dr. Bailey asked about the planned use for the building. Mr. Rowe explained that he was uncertain of plans for the building, which belonged to the Mineral County Historical Society, other than to reverse the damage of the 1950s addition and make it a multiple use building with some historical interpretation by the society, and some retail possibly. Chairman Conte called for a motion. Ms. Zirk moved to approve and Dr. Gozdzik seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Mr. Rowe presented the John C. Reeves House, Wellsburg vicinity, Brooke County, under Criterion C for Architecture, with period of significance ca. 1870. Dr. Bailey asked about plans to restore the house and Mr. Rowe replied that the owner was doing the best he could. Dr. Gozdzik asked if there were other potential sites in the area and Mr. Rowe stated that two were mentioned in the nomination, but it was too broken up for a district nomination. He replied to Ms. Brennan that they would be looking for tax credits and grants. Dr. Ledbetter moved to approve the nomination and Dr. Arnett seconded the motion. Motion passed with Dr. Bailey voting against approval.
Mr. Rowe presented the last nomination, the Kennedy Dairy Barn, Fairmont, Marion County, now known as the Colonial Apartments, under Criterion C for Architecture and B for Education, with periods of significance being ca. 1900, ca. 1942, and 1946-56. Following the presentation, Mr. Tenney recorded that he would recuse himself from voting on the nomination, but reserved the right to speak to, and respond to, questions, if any, as he was employed by Fairmont State University and involved directly with this building, which is the proposed future home of the West Virginia Folklife Center there. Dr. Bailey moved to approve the nomination. In response to Dr. Gozdzik's question about some of the building additions and materials used, and whether they are intrusive, Mr. Tenney stated that the building is scheduled for total restoration and most of the parts that are intrusive to the historical context will be restored. Dr. Arnett commented that, technically, the nomination meets the fifty-year qualification, which would make the windows historically valid in that period of time, even though aesthetically it may be detracting. Mr. Rowe read from the nomination, which dated the windows and doors to the ca. 1942 conversion. After additional discussion on the aluminum windows and when and if they would be acceptable as part of the fabric of the building, Chairman Conte called for a motion on the nomination. Dr. Bailey stated he had so moved; Dr. Gozdzik provided the second; motion passed with Mr. Tenney abstaining.
As this concluded the presentation of National Register nominations, Chairman Conte called upon Alan Rowe who wished to address the commission. Mr. Rowe announced his pending resignation from his position and stated that it had been an honor to serve. He had enjoyed his service and tenure, but had decided to return to graduate studies in the Fall. Chairman Conte thanked Mr. Rowe for his years of service to the commission. At this time, Secretary Armstrong asked members to turn in their voting forms.
Chairman Conte recognized Dr. Bailey, who asked to make a statement before the commission. He suggested to the commission that they recognize Chad Proudfoot and the Capitol Building Commission for their efforts to keep integrity of buildings and structures on the Capitol Complex, such as the Governor's Mansion window issue, by offering a Resolution of Support. He added that the CBC is at least trying to do their job which is set forth in legislation. Dr. Bailey then offered a Resolution of Support for the CBC in carrying out its work and maintaining the integrity of the Capitol Complex. Chairman Conte asked if there was any discussion on this suggestion. Various members commented in support of the resolution. Dr. Bailey moved to approve a commission resolution in support of the CBC and its work. Ms. Zirk seconded the motion. Motion passed. Chairman Conte asked Secretary Armstrong to compose the resolution.
Dr. Bailey also commended Fred Armstrong on his efforts, though they were futile, to retain the West Virginia History journal with Archives and History, adding that it had been a bulwark for West Virginia history and history societies since it was created. He offered a Resolution from the commission to thank Mr. Armstrong for his efforts on behalf of West Virginia History. A motion for a Resolution of Support was made by Dr. Bailey and Dr. Ledbetter seconded the motion. Motion passed.
In regard to the resolution in support of the CBC, Ms. Brennan asked if a copy would be sent to the Governor's Office, or to whomever copies of the Resolution would be sent. Dr. Bailey stated it was the intent of his motion that it be sent to the CBC.
Chairman Conte called upon Susan Pierce to present the two Certified Historic Preservation Community Applications (copies attached to official minutes). Ms. Pierce explained that this was a new program instituted under former Acting Commissioner Troy Body. One application is for the Town of Bath, Berkeley Springs, and the other is for the Town of Beverly. Both met the minimum qualifications for the program and the commission was being asked to approve their certification. Dr. Bailey asked about the landmark status for a community and whether Bath was an incorporated town. Ms. Pierce stated Bath was an incorporated town and that it was in the state enabling legislation for the creation of historic landmark commissions. Mr. Knorr stated that landmark commissions could have separate jurisdictions. Chairman Conte called for a motion to accept the two applications. Dr. Gozdzik made a motion to approve the Town of Bath and the Town of Beverly as Certified Historic Preservation Communities and Dr. Arnett seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Chairman Conte called upon Susan Pierce to present the FY2007 State Historic Preservation Development Grants (copy attached to official minutes). She reviewed the selection priorities which are established each year and approved by the commission in the Annual Work Program. She referred to the Grants Manual, explaining that the funding priorities are the primary factor in the selection of the grants and deal specifically with work items to repair and rehabilitate buildings. The number one priority is to provide a weatherproof envelope for a building and to make it structurally sound, followed by rehabilitation of exterior features and lesser priorities. Staff looks at the historical and architectural significance of the property, administrative financial management capability of the sponsor, community support and interest, quality of the application, and submitted pre-development material and evidence of future support plans. Applications are reviewed for completeness and eligibility, and a list of projects is compiled according to the priorities. A score sheet gives the primary points to the priority work items. Staff found a couple of projects this year that had the highest priority of work, but fell lower in the list because of other, less important items in the selection criteria. Applications were listed by their total scores, but three applications - McDowell County Courthouse, Old First Baptist Church in Union, Monroe County, and John C. Reeves House in Brooke County - were Priority 1 Projects, whose total score was lowered for less important scoring criteria. They had given funding on two separate occasions in the last three years (over $105,000) to the Marion County Courthouse and it is listed on the staff recommendation sheet for Marion County. She informed members that the staff was recommending to the commission that they skip the Marion County Courthouse and use that funding toward the Priority 1 Projects. The McDowell, Monroe and Brooke projects deal with roof and stabilization issues and the staff recommends dividing the funds between the three. The Old First Baptist Church, the day after the funding was due, was struck by a tornado that hit Union and pulled the roof off, creating an immediate, emergency need. Staff believes the extreme conditions of the John C. Reeves House merit attention this year to save the structure. In years past, they would recommend full funding in some instances and partial funding in others. This year, the partial funding addresses the Priority 1 items, as opposed to lower items for which the applicant also applied. She concluded her presentation with the request that the commission, as in the past, include the provision to allow staff to move funds to projects further down the priority list or additional to those approved, should those recommended for funds be unable to use them. In reply to Mr. Tenney, she stated that the scoring did not differentiate between private and public properties. They did attempt to tweak and adjust the scoring to address the public support and community activity areas. In reply to Mr. Stowell's question about the funding for the Weaver House in Harpers Ferry for removing shrubs and trees on the property, she confirmed that this was partial funding for their request. Dr. Bailey stated he had no problem with the scoring process for the proposals but wanted to know how they would justify skipping a higher scored project with a good proposal for one not evaluated as highly. Ms. Pierce stated any applicant could appeal the decision to Historic Preservation staff, as stated in the grant booklet. Staff reserves the right to recommend according to the priorities and not necessarily the entire selection criteria. Staff has the discretion given to base their decision primarily on the funding priority. The commission is to have the final say in the selection of projects, based on the recommendations of the staff. Ms. Baxter made it a matter of record that she had been involved with four of the applications in offering advice or letters of recommendation, but none of these were among those receiving staff recommendation for funding. She complimented the staff on their work with the applicants and added that the post grant comments sent to applicants on how they might improve their submissions were valuable. Ms. Pierce returned to Dr. Bailey's question and stated that if Marion County appealed the decision on the courthouse project, the funds could be cancelled for the three projects and allocated to the courthouse project based on the higher score. She suggested another option would be to direct funds for cancelled projects, or those not able to use all the funds made available, to the Marion County Courthouse as next in the priority list. Chairman Conte called for a motion to accept the staff recommendations with the provision authorizing staff to move funds from cancelled projects or projects unable to use all available funding to the next project in order of priority or to increase funding to an approved project needing additional funds. Dr. Arnett moved and Dr. Ledbetter seconded the motion. Secretary Armstrong asked if anyone had a potential conflict of interest on ethical grounds. There being none, Chairman Conte called for the vote. Motion passed; Dr. Bailey voted in opposition.
Ms. Pierce distributed the FY2007 Annual Work Program DRAFT (copy attached to official minutes). Members were requested to review the draft, especially the grant descriptions and criteria for evaluating projects, and to provide comments to her, Pam Brooks or Chris Knorr. She also noted the inclusion of a five percent set aside endangered properties fund, as there were no remaining funds from the old tax writeoff program. The draft would be out for the public comment period, which would close 16 August, and members were requested to get their suggested revisions in so that staff could finalize the draft in time for presentation and approval at the fall meeting.
Chairman Conte called for the FY2007 Expenditure Schedule Report and, in the absence of Ms. Painter, asked Mr. Armstrong to present the New Highway Historic Marker requests. He informed members that they had been provided with information on all the markers, but one, in the mailing (copy attached to official minutes). He then presented a brief history on each, beginning with "The First Shack," Monongalia County, which was a building in the Scott's Run area used in the 1920s and 1930s to provide economic relief and educational programs for children and families during the Depression. He then reviewed the three requests for Revolutionary War Soldiers, Wayne County. He referred members to the abstract of the historical information on each of the soldiers: Hezekiah Adkins, Micajah Frazier/Frasher, (various spellings), and Samuel Hatton. He reminded members that he had been requested on behalf of the sponsors to present these at the meeting held in Glenville, although they had arrived too late to send out in advance, but the commission had deferred to the next meeting. The soldiers' contributions to the Revolution were prior to their arrival in the area which became Wayne County, but they died and were interred in the county. The Wayne County Genealogical and Historical Society had set up a program to mark all such graves. He stated that he had relayed comments by the commission regarding interest in one marker recognizing all the Wayne County Revolutionary War soldiers' burials, but the society had no interest in this approach. He then presented the "Marshall Plane Disaster," Wayne County marker, also sponsored by the same group. He reminded members they had approved a marker on this subject to go near the stadium in Huntington several years ago; however, the present request was for a marker near the actual crash site in Wayne County. The next request was for the "Layland Mine Disaster," Fayette County, and he referenced the abstract of historical information sent out to members. The sponsor is the Wheeling/Charleston Catholic Diocese. The final marker request was from the City of New Cumberland, for which the commission had approved several markers for an Ohio River park location. At the time these were approved, the city had expressed interest in one for the "Contested County Seat" between New Manchester and New Cumberland, but did not know if they had sufficient funds. They learned there would be some expiring fiscal year funds they could use for this and had requested special consideration of this request so as to finalize the park project. He referred members to the historical abstract and briefly reviewed it. This concluded the presentation of the six requests. In reply to Ms. Brennan's questions, he stated they had approved two in Wayne County, and he did not know if there was a monument to the soldiers in the county or how many markers statewide made similar recognition to the contributions of Revolutionary War soldiers. There were some in the original program of 440 markers that relate to the Revolutionary War and to some soldiers who had served. In reply to Dr. Bailey's question, he stated that the legislative appropriation for the marker program next fiscal year was directed specifically to refurbishing and replacing damaged markers needing repairs and re-painting and replacing missing markers. He reviewed how the private-sponsor program worked with the sponsors paying the cost to manufacture the marker, the pipe for installation and transportation cost. Staff worked with the sponsors and manufacturer to create the wording and DOH, in most cases, handled the installation. The commission's approval of a marker did not involve any direct outlay of state funds. Chairman Conte asked if there was interest in a motion for any or all the privately-sponsored markers. Dr. Ledbetter moved to approve the requests for The Shack, Layland Mine Disaster and Contested County Seat. Dr. Bailey seconded the motion. Dr. Gozdzik stated her confusion on the Revolutionary War Soldiers requests, was it one marker for three soldiers or a separate marker for each. Mr. Armstrong explained that the sponsor had requested a separate marker for each soldier. Chairman Conte called for the vote on the motion; motion passed.
Mr. Armstrong then requested members' interest in changing the paint specification on the markers, example of which had been shown to members during the lunch break. He explained again that the reason for considering the change from the original black lettering and border on white background to the bright white aluminum, and requesting their consideration of this change, was because the current paint was not holding up against environmental conditions. The manufacturer suggested the change, which is being used by a number of other states and has a guarantee of five years, but should last ten. Following comments, Chairman Conte called for a motion to accept the change in paint of the highway historical markers to the bright white aluminum, as recommended by the manufacturer. Dr. Arnett so moved and Dr. Ledbetter provided the required second. Motion carried.
At this time, Ginny Painter returned to the meeting and presented the FY2007 Expenditure Schedule Report, based on a spreadsheet distributed to members (copy attached to official minutes). She explained that this sheet provides information as to how the division faired with their request versus what they received in the budget process. She called members' attention to the personal services budget and informed them that overall the division did not have to absorb any cuts in the programming budget for FY 2007, which starts on July 1. An increase of $58,000 was given, which should provide funds for the full-time director's position at Museum in the Park at Logan. She reviewed the various budgeted accounts, noting those which passed through the agency under legislative directive. The Capital Outlay and Maintenance fund was new and unexpected money, which the division will use to operate facilities and to provide preventive maintenance and capital improvements. The $200,000 would enable the division to begin addressing some of the long-term maintenance needs at the sites and they were determining the priorities for these funds. The budget had $75,000 for marker refurbishing and replacement, and $50,344 for the Archaeological Curation and Capital Improvements at Grave Creek. Historic Preservation Grants received $900 more this year for grants. The $16,000 difference in the Records Management and Preservation Board funds was just in the authority to spend and the funds are available upon request if needed. The requested supplemental of $350,000 for the changes and additions to the Veterans Memorial names had not yet been granted, but was still pending and may pass in a later special session.
Ms. Painter informed members that the agency was scheduled for a full performance audit from the Legislative Auditors Office in response to the Sunset provisions on 1 July 2007. A team of auditors will review the entire agency and probably pick two or three issues on which to focus, one of which will probably be the Museum project. The audit likely will continue into the Fall, with a full report to the legislature at the Fall Interims. Commission members could be contacted and they would be advised as the audit process continues to conclusion.
In response to questions about the spreadsheet, she explained that the 8718 funds were federal and the agency would have fewer dollars from this source in the next year than in the present one. In reply to Ms. Baxter, she explained that the grants for competitive arts referred to the Arts Section grants and that the Museum project was not included in these budget figures because it had received no additional funds in this session. She stated that this spreadsheet was not the complete budget, just the changes, and the current Museum Project budget was $5.9 million. In reply to Ms. Brennan's concern about the governor's interest in this project, Ms. Painter explained that the Governor and First Lady visited The Cultural Center late in January or early February for a tour, reviewed the space and plans and were shown the work of staff during the last year. Both support the project and requested a really good plan and solid idea of the cost, stating they would try to find the money. Ms. Painter stated $5.9 million was insufficient to build it and additional funds will have to come from the legislature or some other source.
As this concluded Ms. Painter's report and questions, Chairman Conte thanked her and called for the Report of the Nominating Committee.
Dr. Gozdzik reported to the commission that she and Ms. Stalnaker proposed re-election of the current officers: Dr. Bob Conte, Chair, and Dr. Ken Bailey, Vice-Chair. Dr. Ledbetter moved to approve the slate and Dr. Arnett seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Chairman Conte inquired as to the dates and location of the Fall and Winter meetings. After some discussion regarding the potential for the continuation of the Blair Mountain litigation and the pending need of staff to be close to Charleston, it was agreed that the next meeting would be held in Charleston, at the Hubbard House if suitable, on Friday, 29 September. After some discussion, it was agreed to set the Winter date for Friday, 26 January 2007, with 2 February as the backup date, at Parkersburg.
Prior to a motion to adjourn, Chairman Conte recognized Ms. Brennan, who asked about the process for implementing the $75,000 marker refurbishing project. Mr. Armstrong stated that he had already discussed some of this with the manufacturer and they were developing plans to contact DOH districts and county garages to inform them of the need to provide a list of markers they had in their shops and yards and any they identified as needing repair, repainting or replacement. They already had an inventory of missing markers, but wanted to make sure none of these were in DOH sites. As planned for in the T-21 Project, they hoped DOH would provide service in-kind for taking down markers and centralizing them for shipment for refurbishing, then return them to their proper location. But, because of the quantity and workload, this may not be possible. They also hoped to utilize media on the project to develop community interest and support of the project. Much of the planning would be similar to that which was presented in the T-21 Highway Enhancement grant proposal.
Dr. Gozdzik made a motion to adjourn and Chairman Conte declared the meeting adjourned at 3:35 p.m. Members who were interested adjourned to participate in a tour of the Museum and the Archives' third and fourth floors.
Fredrick H. Armstrong
Archives and History Commission