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MINUTES
WEST VIRGINIA
ARCHIVES AND HISTORY COMMISSION
WINTER MEETING
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2019
THE CULTURE CENTER
CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA


Chairman Victor Greco called the meeting to order at 1:01 p.m. In addition to Chairman Greco, voting members present were Tommy Bailey, Dr. Melissa Bingmann, Dr. Robert Conte, Victor Greco, Dr. Charles Ledbetter, Audy Perry, and Nathan Randolph. Voting members absent were Nat DeBruin, Darlene Hassler, and Dr. David Trowbridge. Ex officio voting member present was Fredrick Armstrong, president of the West Virginia Historical Society. Ex officio non-voting members present were Joe Geiger, director, Archives and History Section; Hanna Law, representing the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey; Charles Morris, director, Museums Section; Susan Pierce, director, Historic Preservation Section; Randall Reid-Smith, curator of the Department of Arts, Culture and History; and J. Logan Smith, president of Preservation Alliance of West Virginia. Also present were Historic Preservation staff members Jennifer Brennan, Pam Brooks, and Jeff Smith.

Following introductions, Chairman Greco asked for a motion on the meeting minutes of October 15, 2018. A motion to approve the minutes was made by Mr. Bailey with a second by Mr. Randolph. The motion was approved.

Chairman Greco called upon Mr. Geiger for the Archives and History report. Mr. Geiger referred members to information provided in the monthly reports for August through December 2018 (copies attached to official minutes) and reviewed recent activities. He noted Archives and History had hosted several large student tour groups, using stations to teach students about the work of the section and the materials preserved in the State Archives. Geiger also informed members that efforts to transfer county records to the State Archives have increased and are proving successful.

Chairman Greco then called upon Ms. Pierce for the Historic Preservation report. Ms. Pierce provided a written report to members (copy attached to official minutes) and briefly reviewed section activities. She informed commission members that staff had submitted an Underrepresented Communities Grant application to the National Park Service for survey and nomination efforts at West Virginia State University. The State Historic Preservation calendar and Historic West Virginia publication had been mailed out, and survey questionnaires seeking public comment on the development of the five-year statewide comprehensive historic preservation plan were sent to the SHPO mailing list.

Chairman Greco then called upon Mr. Morris for the Museums report. Mr. Morris provided a written report to members (copy attached to official minutes) and reviewed section activities. He invited commission members to the opening of the State Police exhibit, to be held at 6:00 p.m. on March 29. He also noted staff were working on text and graphics for a new exhibit case and timeline case to be added to the new archaeology exhibits at Grave Creek.

Chairman Greco then called on J. Logan Smith for the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia report. Mr. Smith commented on the efforts of AmeriCorps workers, work on the endangered properties program, technical assistance and preservation projects, and efforts to obtain funding from the National Park Service to support these worthwhile projects.

Chairman Greco then called upon Ms. Law for the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey report. Ms. Law informed commission members that work on broadband expansion will continue with an emphasis on the southern counties of the state. She also commented on a planned April visit from the Secretary of Commerce and the addition of new exhibits in the museum and new items in the shop in preparation for summer. Chairman Greco then called upon Mr. Armstrong for the West Virginia Historical Society report. Mr. Armstrong noted the society newsletter would be mailed out in the next few weeks.

Chairman Greco then called upon Curator Reid-Smith for his report. Curator Reid-Smith summarized Department of Arts, Culture and History activities, including the replacement of towers for Public Broadcasting, the gift shop at West Virginia Independence Hall, the 250th anniversary of Wheeling, and National History Day. He also reviewed History Bowl results and scheduled competitions and the continued success of the VH-1 Save the Music Foundation project. The curator also noted the completion of the sesquicentennial marker project and stated he planned to have an event in Wheeling to celebrate this achievement.

Turning to Old Business, Chairman Greco called for an update on previous National Register nominations. Jeff Smith noted the Fayetteville Esso Station had been listed on December 4, 2018, and the Welch Commercial Historic District boundary increase on December 14, 2018. The Market Street Bridge nomination was still with the National Park Service, while all others are pending.

Turning to New Business, Chairman Greco called for the presentation of the National Register nominations.

South Wheeling Historic District, Wheeling, Ohio County, nominated under Criterion A, with period of significance being 1841-1968, was presented by Debbie Griffin of Heritage Architectural Associates. Mr. Armstrong asked if trolley lines ran through the area and was informed that they did. Dr. Conte moved for approval of the nomination and Mr. Bailey provided the second. Motion carried.

The Golden Rule, Belington, Barbour County, nominated under Criteria A and C, with period of significance being ca. 1902-1950, was presented by Isabel Thornton of Restoration Housing. Following the presentation, a question was asked about future plans, and the commission was told the building will be used for apartments and a market. Dr. Ledbetter moved for approval of the nomination with Mr. Randolph providing the second. Motion carried.

The Honorable Joseph M. McWhorter House, Spencer, Roane County, nominated under Criteria B and C, with period of significance being 1856-1869, was presented by Frank Unger of Past Respects. Following the presentation, Mr. Randolph moved for approval of the nomination and Mr. Bailey provided the second. Motion carried.

Chairman Greco then called on Jennifer Brennan regarding a tax credit appeal on the Honorable Joseph M. McWhorter House in Spencer. After her presentation detailing why the tax credit was denied, Frank Unger made a presentation to the commission detailing why he believed his appeal of the tax credit denial should be granted. Dr. Bingmann made a motion to extend Mr. Ungerís time for five minutes and Dr. Ledbetter seconded. Motion carried.

At the conclusion of his extended time, Mr. Armstrong moved that consideration of the tax credit appeal be tabled until the next meeting. Dr. Ledbetter seconded, and the motion carried.

Chairman Greco then called on Pam Brooks to present the second round of FY2019 Survey and Planning Grants. She explained that the grants panel had met in January and prepared a recommendation (copy attached to official minutes) for the funding of eight projects.

Mr. Randolph made a motion to accept the panelís recommendations for FY2019 Survey and Planning Grants for the St. Albans Railroad Industry Historic District, the Graham-Davis Historic District, Morgantown City Hall Vault, Octagon Project at Happy Retreat, and Warwood Neighborhood Survey projects 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, subject to the availability of funding. The second was provided by Dr. Ledbetter. Motion passed.

Mr. Bailey and Mr. Perry left the meeting. Chairman Greco recused himself and Mr. Randolph assumed the chair. Mr. Perry returned to the meeting.

Dr. Ledbetter made a motion to accept the panelís recommendations for FY2019 Survey and Planning Grants for the National Bank of Davis, North Wheeling HD Expansion, and Shepherdstown GIS projects 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, subject to the availability of funding. The second was provided by Dr. Bingmann. Motion passed.

Chairman Greco returned to the meeting and called on Dr. Bingmann for the report of the nominating committee. Dr. Bingmann informed the commission the committee recommended the election of Victor Greco as chairman and Nathan Randolph as vice-chairman. Dr. Bingmann made a motion to approve the recommendation and Dr. Conte provided the second. Motion passed.

Chairman Greco noted the Spring meeting will be held on May 31 at Canaan Valley State Park with June 7 as backup date. The Fall meeting will be held on September 27 with a backup date of October 4, at a location to be determined. Staff will check on the possibility of meeting at Cass.

Mr. Randolph made a motion to adjourn and Chairman Greco declared the meeting adjourned at 3:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Joseph N. Geiger, Jr.
Secretary


Archives and History Commission

West Virginia Archives and History