President Jack Smith opened the February 2, 2005, meeting of the Avon Historical Society at 7:00 p.m. at The Old Town Hall with 32 members and guests present.
As the first order of business Jack asked the secretary to read the minutes of the previous meeting of January 5, 2005. Following the reading of the minutes the president asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes as read. Jack noted one change and thereafter a motion to approve the minutes was made by George Bliss, seconded by Jean Fisher and by voice vote unanimously approved.
Jack then asked for the treasurer's report and in the absence of the treasurer, Jean Fisher reported that as of this evening there is a balance of $936.38 in the checking account. Our money market account currently has a balance of $6,022.91.
The president asked the members if there were any outstanding bills to present to the treasurer this evening, and Dr. Fisher stated that he was asking to be reimbursed $45.73 for the cost of postage, copying and mailing out the send-half of the year mailings to members. He also stated that during the year we had sold 23 videos with a profit of $100.00 that he was turning over to the treasurer for deposit.
Dr. Fisher went on to state that during the past year we had 3 members die, William Sanders, Mildred Barnett and Doris Dunker. He stated that in the past it had been the practice of our club to donate books to the Avon Library in their memory at a cost of approximately $25.00 per book. After a discussion Dr. Fisher made a motion to have our organization purchase books in the name of this year's deceased members for donating to the Avon Library. His motion was seconded by Jim Szippl and by voice vote unanimously approved.
The president next mentioned that the French Creek Association is selling our pamphlet on the century homes in our city for $5.00 apiece. We charge them $2.00.
As the next order of business the president called on Bob Gates to report on the activity of the Avon Landmarks Preservation Commission. Bob reported that Cheryl Huene is no longer a member of the commission and Lois Shinko has replaced her. He stated further that approximately 30 individuals have stated that they wanted off our list however they have received only 6 formal requests asking to be removed.
He stated further that 2 demolition permits have been requested for 2 houses, one at 3845 Case Road which is an old house, but not really of significant importance, and 1225 Moore Road. He also stated that they are pursuing sending letters out to the disgruntled residents listed informing more clearly what the Landmarks Preservation Commission is all about. Also there are several articles to review on the front table that have recently appeared regarding the commission.
Bob further stated that the Commission is concerned that the Avon School Board wants to have the Avon Village School on Detroit Road taken off the list. This hints of a possible intention to have the school torn down some time in the future, and this building is a major part of our history. We all need to stay on top of this to make sure that the Avon Village School does not go off the list. We need to stand our ground on this one. Everyone needs to be reminded that 72% of the Avon voters mandated the city to establish the Landmarks Preservation Commission. This was done with everyone's knowledge and consent.
John Bender then spoke regarding the recent article in the Chronicle which he displayed to the members which was very slanted and not complimentary to our group and the intentions of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. There was a short discussion regarding the newspaper coverage and our renewed obligation to keep on top of things and to inform the public of our intentions.
Jack next reported that the Arcadia picture project was completed, and sent in, and is now in the printers hands. More information on this at future meetings.
Jack then asked Dr. Fisher if there was any report this evening on the ongoing Norton Townshend video project and there was none this evening.
Next reporting for the Duct Tape committee, Theresa Szippl reported that she has just learned that the date for the parade has bee moved to Sunday, June 19th because it conflicted with the car show. This may or may not be a good idea on their part. She stated further that we needed to come to some agreement shortly on whether or not we will participate in the parade and have a float or do we want to have a booth at the festival site, etc.. Theresa will gather more detailed information and we will try to make a definite decision at our next meeting.
Jack next gave the floor to Trish Binder who is a tenant in the Williams house and a resident of Avon. She reported that on January 4th the new owners made clear their intent to tear down a large portion of the existing building and put up a glass ice cream shop and bakery. She and other tenants of the building are concerned about the destruction of one of the most beautiful, old homes in Avon and which is also on the National Register of Historic Places.
Trish is concerned that we need to work to preserve this part of the city which represents the real historic district. If we blink -- it will be gone. She has come tonight to see what we as the Avon Historical Society can do to help the tenants.
Bob Gates replied by stating that as everyone knows, the only teeth we have is to delay a project such as what is proposed for this home. Jean Fisher then stated that it will be Paul Burik's job to review the proposal for the renovation of the home to see that it is in keeping with the French Creek District.
Be reminded that this issue is on the Planning Commission docket on Wednesday, February 16, 2005 at 7:00 p.m. in council chambers. Some of us should be there. Just imagine a glass box on the east side of this wonderful old house. We need to one by one stand up and state to the Planning Commission that this is a bad idea. Hopefully they may back off for the time being if we do this. Paul Burik has made a list of where their proposal is in violation of the city ordinances. Our city Planning Commission will be forced to reject this under the terms of the ordinances if it does not meet the guidelines of the French Creek District. Again, we need as many of you in attendance at the meeting as possible.
Joanne Easterday spoke and stated that it has been her experience that it does work -- mixing the old and the new. We need to see what the design looks like. It is her belief that the owners are willing to work with us.
Jack added that as another alternative to the demolition of the Williams House, the structure could be moved to a site across the street where a resident has approximately 2 acres available for moving the house and maintaining the home.
Next Ralph White reported that he had contacted Paul Stanley of the Department of Scenic By-ways and he will be sending us an application and list of required criteria. We are already aware that there is a 5 mile minimum distance.
Jack then announced that at our March 2nd meeting Avon Historical Society member, John Bender will speak on historic Boston and the Democratic Convention.
There being no further business to present at the meeting the president entertained a motion from Jim Szippl to adjourn the meeting which motion was seconded by John Bender and by voice vote unanimously approved.
Respectfully submitted, Nancy McGhee Secretary
AVON HISTORICAL SOCIETY AGENDA
March 2, 2005
Reading of minutes of meeting of February 2, 2005.
Motion to approve and second.
A. Any outstanding bills to present.
A. Re-cap of Planning Commission meeting re: Williams House, Jack Smith
B. Report from the Landmarks Preservation Commission, Bob Gates
C. Update - Arcadia Picture Book Project, Jack Smith
D. Norton S. Townshend video committee, Del Fischer
E. Duct Tape Festival participation, Theresa Szippl
A. Next month, on 4-6-05, Al Doane will present a program on the Lorain Tornado of 1924.
Motion to Adjourn and Second
This evening, John Bender will present a program on Historic Boston and the Democratic Convention.