Minutes of the Avon Historical Society, 5-4-05 and 6-1-05

President Jack Smith opened the May 4, 2005, meeting of the Avon Historical Society at 7:00 p.m. at The Old Town Hall with 31 members and guests present.

As the first order of business he asked the secretary to read the minutes of the previous meeting of April 6, 2005. Following the reading of the minutes the president asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes as read. There being none a motion to approve the minutes was made by Jim Szippl, seconded by Ruth Plas and by voice vote unanimously approved.

Jack asked our treasurer Barb Wolf for a report and she stated that this evening we have $1,189.47 in our money market account and $6,050.91 in the checking account. Jack asked if there were any bills to present this event and Bob Gates presented a bill for lumber for building the float for payment.

Next the president took a moment to thank Chuck and Cheryl Huene for planting spring flowers in the flower boxes. They certainly were beautiful.

Jack then brought up the issue of this year's Duct Tape Festival and called upon Toni Barnhardt and Theresa Szipplto bring us up to date on the project. Toni stated that the main feature of our flat this year will be a 4 x 8 x 6 replica of The Old Town Hall. Ralph White is providing heavy duty cardboard and George Bliss has generously offered his barn for us to use.

There are a couple of details that must be attended to per the requirements of the city such as a fire extinguisher needs to be on the float and we need to have someone sign a general release of liability form. In order to get things started it was agreed that the first organizational/work meeting would be held on next Tuesday, May 10th at 7:00 p.m. We will need a lot of help and anyone who can come next week, your help will be greatly appreciated.

Next the president called upon our representative Bob Gates to give his report on what is happening regarding the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Bob stated that recently 4 people wanted off their list, Rita Paine on Nagel Road was one, but after speaking with her, she withdrew her request. Yolanda Magary's request on Detroit Road was granted, Bill Smith who wanted the barber shop behind us on Stoney Ridge Road taken off, which was granted - and finally the Avon Board of Education requesting that the Avon Village School on Detroit Road be taken off the list. Their request was tabled for the time being and a representative will be going back to the board at their next meeting to explain more fully our position and reasoning.

Next Jean Fischer spoke regarding the Wal Mart Grant and stated that our application is being processed and it is thought that we will probably be receiving $1,000.00 from the Wal Mart people which will be used to put our Norton Townshend video program together.

Jean further stated that regarding our club's donation to the Avon Public Library in memory of our deceased members, that the library had requested that they are in need of a new atlas and so a $75 donation to the library has been made to purchase the new atlas in the names of our deceased members.

Next the president reported that at the last Planning Commission meeting a great breakthrough has occurred. The developers went with another drawing and as far as their new architect is concerned, no part of the Williams House will be demolished.

Ralph White and Lois Shinko are right now at a meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals going over variances. Basically we do not object to these variances that are requested by the developer; but we are presenting our petitions tonight to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Our purpose in doing so is so that the language "in consideration that no part of the Williams House be demolished" be included in any motion approving the variance. This request will appear again on the May Planning Commission if the William's House is on the agenda.

There are drawings of the Williams House available for members to view this evening at the front tables. You will notice a marked difference from the earlier drawings.

Jack went on to explain that the Planning Commission needs guidelines for when situations like this come up again. 1) If a property that is being bought has a historical home or structure on the site, the Planning Commission should be informed. Sometimes the Commission has no knowledge that there are historical buildings on that property. 2) The Planning Commission would then refer the developers to the Landmarks Preservation Commission or to the Avon Historical Society for technical assistance. We can then provide them with lists of contractors and preservation architects so they can be directed to someone to guide them to do the work in a way that is much more friendly toward preserving historical structures. Of course Council will have to pass an ordinance for this process to be enforced. Presently there are no guidelines for Planning Commission to deal with historical homes any place in the city.

JoAnn Easterday then asked if someone could provide the mayor and the Planning Commission with a list of the historical houses we have listed and Bob Gates stated that he would take care of delivering them copies.

Carla Wible next spoke on the upcoming trip to the Lakeview Cemetery in Cleveland on June 12th. There will be 2 choices, one is a walking tour with a docent that takes about an hour and a half or a non-walking presentation slide show that lasts about 45 minutes. The cost for the slide show is $4.00. There was a discussion regarding car pooling and where the group might stop to eat, probably somewhere in Little Italy.

It was decided that in order to finalize the plans and numbers going on the trip as well as last minute work and details on the Duct Tape Parade, that we would have an informal meeting on Wednesday June 1st. This would be just a working meeting with no minutes, etc.,

Next the President reminded the members that he was notified by Ellen Young from the city that May 31st [2005] is Pride Day in Avon and many of the local clubs have taken on the responsibility of cleaning up parts of the city. There was a short discussion - but nothing was decided upon. [We can help the French Creek Development Association fix up the entrance to the skate board park at 9 am on 5-21-05.]

Fr. Leo Dechant next spoke to the group and stated that Holy Trinity Church will soon be tearing down the old hall just to the south of the school. Fr. Leo's family was involved in the actual construction of the old hall and it has a lot of memories for many families in the area. It is being torn down to make room for more classrooms.

Jack then asked Fr. Leo if he could send him an e-mail detailed much of the information he shared with us this evening so that it could be preserved for Avon's history. Jack will also take a photo of the building before it is torn down for our records.

George Bliss then re-stated his belief that Chester Road should be considered as a main drag for east-west traffic because of the lack of homes presently on the road, this would be the time to widen and improve Chester to handle more traffic and relieve Detroit Road.

There being no further business to conduct, a motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Stan Hawryluk and seconded by Jean Fischer and by voice vote unanimously approved.

Jean Fischer then announced this evening's speaker, Betty Lou Higgins who presented a program of Favorite Great Lakes Stories.

Respectfully submitted, Nancy McGhee, Secretary


June 1, 2005

President Jack Smith opened the June 1, 2005, meeting of the Avon Historical Society at 7:00 p.m. at The Old Town Hall.

As a first order of business the president called on Ralph White who stated that he had been in touch with Kinko Printing regarding the price for a laminated sign to be displayed on our float at the upcoming Duct Tape Parade. Ralph reported that the cost of the 2 signs which state "Preserve Detroit Road" would be approximately $110.00. A motion to authorize the purchase of these signs was made by Jack Smith and seconded by Bob Gates and by voice vote approved by the members present.

Toni Barnhart next led a discussion regarding the progress of our float for the parade and stated that work had begun in George Bliss's barn. We will be using a flatbed trailer from Sy Bliss. Toni stated further that she had a lot of legal forms that needed to be filled out by all participants/ owners of any vehicles used in the parade.

Toni went on to state that we are making great progress on the float thanks to a lot of work by Ralph White and others. Also a suggestion was made by Nancy McGhee that it might be a good idea to buy some inexpensive artificial green turf grass to cover the trailer and also some inexpensive plastic bunting to go around the outside edges of the trailer to give it a finished touch. It was suggested that these products could be purchased at GFS very inexpensively.

A motion was made by Nancy McGhee and seconded by Theresa Szippl to authorize Toni Barnhart to purchase the necessary flooring and siding materials to finish off the float, which motion unanimously approved by voice vote of the members present.

It was suggested that perhaps someone could walk along side of our float with a sign stating that The Old Town Hall would be open today. Toni said she could probably whip up a sign that could be worn over the shoulders easily. We just need someone to walk with the sign.

A short discussion was held following the questions about where we might be able to store our town hall creation after the parade. Because of its size, and not to impose on anyone's property for a year, it was suggested that we have room in the old attached garage behind The Old Town Hall; however, a work session would be needed to straighten things out in the garage and to make certain that the structure is kept off the ground from the moisture.

Nancy and Theresa were once again authorized to sell pop and water outside our front doors, unless it turns unseasonably cold as last year, and then we would fall back to coffee and hot chocolate again.

Carla Wible next spoke about the upcoming trip to Lakeview Cemetery and reminded everyone of the time and place to meet for car pooling. The president stated that he would remind the calling committee to make their phone calls to the membership reminding them of this trip and to try and get a confirmed number of those planning on attending. A decision will be made at a later date regarding where the group would go for lunch after the tour of the cemetery, most probably in Little Italy.

There being no further business to conduct, upon a motion by Toni Barnhart and seconded by Bob Gates, the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted, Nancy McGhee, Secretary

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