Minutes of the Avon Historical Society, 11-4-02

President Jack Smith opened the meeting of the Avon Historical Society at 7:00 p.m. at The Old Town Hall. There were 37 members and guests present.

As the first order of business he asked the secretary to read the minutes of the previous meeting of October 7, 2002. After the minutes were read there being no additions or corrections Jack entertained a motion to approve the minutes made by Anna Allen and seconded by Dr. Fischer. The motion was unanimously passed by the members present.

Jack then asked for the treasurer's report. Barb Wolfe reported the following: as of this evening there is a balance of $560.93 in the checking account. Our money market account currently has a balance of $5,860.75.

Jack asked the members if there were any outstanding bills to present to the treasurer this evening, and Dr. Fischer stated that he was presenting a bill in the amount of $74.94 to our treasurer this evening which bill represents the cost advanced for 83 letters, return envelopes, printing, post cards, etc., A motion was made by Margaret Peak and seconded by Mike Wolfe to authorize the payment of the bill.

Jack began a discussion on the upcoming Bicentennial project which is the joint exhibit to be displayed at the French Creek Reservation in Sheffield Village. He reminded everyone that the anticipated attendance for this exhibit and Bicentennial celebration is estimated to be 75,000 people so everyone's effort will be needed to make ours an exceptional exhibit.

He then asked Theresa Szipple to report on the artifacts project. Theresa reported that she had made copies of the information received from the committee outlining what they are looking for to be displayed and that includes anything old right up to the present. There is a very detailed listing on the sheets indicating what they are looking for in particular. Be reminded that the items and artifacts we are asking for will be on loan from roughly February of 2003 to the end of the exhibit.

Each item will be picked up by the nature center staff, a receipt will be issued to the donor, stickers will be placed on the artifacts for identification and a complete record will be made of the article and donor. Theresa asked everyone to begin thinking of what they have around the house that they could loan for the event and more importantly to ask around of friends who might have interesting items to lend also.

Jack then said that tomorrow, 11-5-02, Dr. Fischer, the Clerk of Council and he would be judging the entries from the Cleveland Institute of Art students and choosing the winning entry to be displayed along with our exhibit.

George Bliss then gave a review of his continuing efforts with the City of North Ridgeville and Lorain County to correct the spelling of Nagel Road. He has received luke warm help from the clerk of council and the county engineer, but George will continue on in his mission.

As a next order of business Dr. Fischer, our membership chairman reported that as of this evening we have 166 paid members.

Regarding our ongoing oral history project now being conducted by Ford Motor Company employees, it has been reported that they have recently interviewed Gene Lescher, and Bob DeChant and they have several more lined up to interview.

Jack then led a discussion regarding the recent publicity the City of Avon has received in the newspapers announcing that the URS traffic engineers have recommended that Detroit Road be expanded to 5 lanes and to make a new I-90 interchange at Nagel Road.

Jack wanted to thank everyone who attended the public hearing on October 29th when we had a chance to voice our opinions. We impressed upon council and suggested that they have some second thoughts about this URS Plan. Many thanks to our president who spoke eloquently on our behalf at this meeting.

We need to push council and the planning commission to go on with the landmark ordinance, and we are going to need all the help we can get. Jack Smith has volunteered and Dr. Fischer has agreed to "carry his bags" to go around and talk to local groups and educate them on this ordinance. We need to get the word out to everyone, and get everyone's help to show that we are serious about preserving Avon, and it must be done immediately.

A suggestion has come up to try to designate Detroit Road a historical highway thus stopping the widening by the state. Another suggestion would be to push through a charter amendment stating that Detroit Road have pavement no wider than 36 feet and no wider than 3 lanes.

Be reminded that council is to vote on the Nagel Road I-90 interchange at the November meeting. If they vote in favor of the interchange then the mayor will immediately contact NOACA to begin the study. Don't be misled by the statements that it will take 10 years to do this --- its coming fast and being pushed by out-of-town heavy hitters.

It was agreed that we needed to get the word out to our members, friends and neighbors and inform them that this is coming right now. In talking to people, it is surprising how many really just don't know whats gong on. The newspapers have not been informing the people as they should about the real impact of what is proposed.

After a continued long discussion and the realization that we could not designate Detroit Road as a historical highway, Jack asked for a motion from the floor. Jean Fischer made a motion for the Avon Historical Society to support a charter amendment preserving Detroit Road for pavement no wider than 36 feet, with no more than 3 lanes, except at intersections. George Bliss seconded the motion and by voice vote the motion was carried.

In summary after continued discussion Jack then asked the members present to call their respective council representatives and tell them you would like them to put this charter issue on the ballot for next November. Tell them we are soliciting public support for protecting Detroit Road to no more than 36 feet wide and no more than 3 lanes. Call before November 12th when they will be voting on the Nagel Road interchange. It was also suggested to contact the French Creek Development Association to solicit their help and support.

Ron Larson then suggested that we need to make our official position known. He then made a motion to advertise our official position in The Press to get the word out to the public. The motion was seconded by Anna Allen and by voice vote unanimously passed.

Ron also reported on the status of the recently moved Lewis House. The house now sits on its new foundation -- there is no roof or utilities yet and Ron is still working with Steve Schaeffer and hopes that the work can soon proceed quickly in a week or so. He is re-inventing the pyramid roof style which is taking time.

The whole house was completely gutted. There remains 3 stone fireplaces that need a lot of work to restore. There is wide plank flooring and wide beam rafters. He plans to use synthetic shingles that look like a slate roof but are 1/3 the cost of slate.

The front door of the house is the original which will need to be stipped down and redone. But the good news is that Ron has a tenant for the house who plans to serve gourmet ice cream. Ron hopes to get everything enclosed and the gas and utilities hooked up before the really cold weather sets in.

Under new business a short discussion was had regarding the upcoming Christmas party set for December 2nd . Nancy McGhee gave a short review to members present, many of them new members, on how our club traditionally celebrates Christmas with the members bringing snacks to share and the club providing the beverages.

It was still undecided whether the Old Town Hall would hold our group or if would be necessary to move it to the Avon VFW. It was decided that our calling committee would get busy and poll the membership to try to get an idea of the number of members planning on attending the Christmas party, and then a decision would be made on where to hold the party.

Jack then reminded the members to mark their calendars for Monday, November 25, at 7:00 p.m. That is when we will be meeting here at the Old Town Hall to decorate for the Christmas holiday.

Another date to jot down is Saturday, December 7. That is the evening that Santa will be here passing out the holiday treats for the children. Hot chocolate will also be available. As usual we will co-host this event with the Avon Lions Club.

Jean Fischer then reported that another date to remember is Wednesday, November 13th at 6:30 p.m. there will be an intersociety meeting at the Carlisle Visitors Center. Everyone is asked to be there around 6:00 pm. Bring a dish to share and your own table service. At this meeting there will be an update on the Bicentennial plans and the status of the new Lorain County grant program for local societies.

There being no further business to conduct, upon a motion from Theresa Szipple and seconded by Stan, the meeting was adjourned.

Following the close of the meeting the members were entertained by Jean Fischer who gave a fascinating rendition of the event "Avon Terrorized by Armed Maniac, 1905" a true story.

Respectfully submitted, Nancy McGhee, Secretary

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