Historic commission holds first meeting

awoolen@macon.comDecember 18, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- The newly formed Warner Robins Historic Preservation Commission held last week its first meeting since being appointed.

The five-member board of Marilyn Ashmore, Arthur Howard, Jim Miles, Brian Russ and Bobby Sharp was chosen Nov. 18. Sharp was unable to attend the inaugural meeting Dec. 10.

Members will have differing lengths of terms, with Ashmore and Howard serving for three years, Miles and Russ for two years and Sharp for one year.

Of the four members who were there, a passion for history dominated their introduction speeches.

Kristi Harpst, regional planner for the Middle Georgia Regional Commission, was on hand to offer suggestions for the new commissioners.

“I think one of y’all’s most important jobs is to tell the story of Warner Robins,” Harpst said.

The main focus of the board during the first few months is electing a chairman, vice chairman and secretary, determining meeting times and educating the public about what role it will take in the community.

One of the those tasks will involve surveying homes in specific areas for historic designations.

Homes 50 years and older are considered historic, Harpst said, but she cautioned “just because something is 50 years old doesn’t mean it’s historic.”

Photographs and addresses will also help the commission find where historic neighborhoods are.

Commission members will also work closely with the local historic society as well as the Warner Robins Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“It’s truly a red letter day today,” said Marsha Buzzell, executive director of the CVB.

She and other history enthusiasts have been at work to get a commission formed for a number of years.

Two of those ladies, Henrieta McIntyre and Alex Talley, were both not impressed with Warner Robins when they came to the town, but they grew to care about it enough to stay.

Both agree there are homes and buildings that need to be preserved.

“There are lots of things that were torn down that I would love to have back,” former city councilwoman McIntyre said.

The commission will hold its next meeting Jan. 13 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. A location has not been named.

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